Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) speaks during a March 1 media briefing on Capitol Hill regarding the Democrats' plan to ensure the Affordable Care Act remains intact. Alongside Cardin are (from left) Reps. Jamie Raskin and Steny Hoyer and Sen. Chris Van Hollen. (William J. Ford/The Washington Informer)
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) speaks during a March 1 media briefing on Capitol Hill regarding the Democrats' plan to ensure the Affordable Care Act remains intact. Alongside Cardin are (from left) Reps. Jamie Raskin and Steny Hoyer and Sen. Chris Van Hollen. (William J. Ford/The Washington Informer)

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.”

Coverage for the Washington Informer includes Prince George’s County government, school system and some state of Maryland government. Received an award in 2019 from the D.C. Chapter of the Society of...

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