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Federal Lawmakers: ACA Works in Maryland

One day after President Donald Trump told Congress and the nation he still wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, federal lawmakers from Maryland briefed reporters Wednesday on Capitol Hill how it would affect the Old Line State.

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) and several Democrats met with health care officials, including the state’s newly appointed health secretary, Dennis Schrader, and Chet Burrell, president and CEO of CareFirst BlueCross Blue Shield. The main point: more than 400,000 Marylanders would lose health insurance without the ACA, also known as Obamacare.

“They both understood the importance of bringing down the uninsured rates because it allows the system to work,” Cardin said.

Without the Affordable Care Act, the state could lose billions of dollars in Medicaid funding and those who get insurance through the state’s health exchange program.

In addition, hospitals could lose millions of dollars in federal money that helps keep health care costs low.

Republicans have control of both the House and Senate, posing a major roadblock.

Trump said Tuesday state governments should be allowed to asses Medicaid and Medicare and also allow patients to cross state lines to purchase insurance that would decrease costs and provide more options.

The Maryland Democrats said they’re willing to work with their colleagues to improve the Affordable Care Act, but revoking it isn’t an option.

According to the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, which provides data and health care options for residents, highlights that the uninsured rate decreased from 10.2 percent in 2013 to 6.6 in 2015.

Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Democrat from Montgomery County who represents the 8th Congressional district, said the Republican plan to repeal the ACA “would be a true catastrophe.”

Meanwhile, the state Senate Finance Committee held a hearing in Annapolis to create a group called the Maryland Health Insurance Coverage Protection Commission, which would oversee and monitor any changes to the Affordable Care Act.

According to the legislation, the group would “conduct a study to assess the impact of potential federal changes to the ACA, Medicaid and Medicare and provided recommendations for state and local action to protect access of residents to the state to affordable health coverage.”

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William J. Ford – Washington Informer Staff Writer

I decided I wanted to become a better writer while attending Bowie State University and figured that writing for the school newspaper would help. I’m not sure how much it helped, but I enjoyed it so much I decided to keep on doing it, which I still thoroughly enjoy 20 years later. If I weren’t a journalist, I would coach youth basketball. Actually, I still play basketball, or at least try to play, once a week. My kryptonite is peanut butter. What makes me happy – seeing my son and two godchildren grow up. On the other hand, a bad call made by an official during a football or basketball game makes me throw up my hands and scream. Favorite foods include pancakes and scrambled eggs which I could eat 24-7. The strangest thing that’s ever happened to me, or more accurately the most painful, was when I was hit by a car on Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia. If I had the power or money to change the world, I’d make sure everyone had three meals a day. And while I don’t have a motto or favorite quote, I continue to laugh which keeps me from driving myself crazy. You can reach me several ways: Twitter @jabariwill, Instagram will_iam.ford2281 or e-mail, wford@washingtoninformer.com

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