Summer Sale Extended! Get unlimited digital access for 13 weeks for $13.
Readers Respond
News Opinion Readers Respond

For thousands of Marylanders, the Affordable Care Act is a big success [Letter]

It is unfortunate that two articles in Sunday's Sun referred to Maryland's health care exchange as "failed" ("Race for Maryland governor turns negative," April 20) and "one of the worst" ("Gansler spot critical of health exchange 'debacle,'" April 20) without also mentioning that Maryland has expanded health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act to over 320,000 people — well above the original goal of 260,000.

Among those new enrollees are people like Nancy Hughes, a former Maryland schoolteacher who lost her job and was in desperate need of health care services, which she could not afford. She calls the coverage she now has under the Affordable Care Act a "blessing and a life saver."

Another example is Tom Friedel, whose private coverage prior to the Affordable Care Act was costly but did not meet his health needs. He now has affordable full private insurance coverage now under the Affordable Care Act. The state's health care navigators who helped him get the health care he needed also got his son enrolled for the first time in the Maryland Children's Health Insurance Program.

Ms. Hughes and Mr. Friedel represent hundreds of thousands of Marylanders who have benefited from the Affordable Care Act. We are all better off because expanding health care coverage to lower income people who cannot afford private coverage has reduced by at least $164 million what we all pay every year in our insurance premiums to cover uncompensated hospital care. Yes, there have been serious problems with the Maryland health care website, and they are being fixed. But, we must not forget that we have achieved a tremendous public health success in Maryland by expanding health care to more than 320,000 people. Let's work together to build on that success.

Vincent DeMarco, Baltimore

The writer is president of the Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative.

To respond to this letter, send an email to Please include your name and contact information.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • An incomplete report on payments to doctors from drug companies [Letter]

    It actually doesn't do much good to head up an article about payments to doctors by telling readers that a doctor invented a great new device and the company sent him a check for royalties ("Payments to doctors from drug companies, device makers revealed," Oct. 4).

  • Medicare deserves support

    Medicare deserves support

    Last Wednesday, Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said that we ought to phase out Medicare and that the nation needs to "move to a new system that allows them to have something, because they're not going to have anything." Mr. Bush also praised Rep. Paul Ryan, the architect of a long-term...

  • Health exchange still a hassle

    Health exchange still a hassle

    I found The Sun's editorial, "Beyond the website" (Nov. 23), about how well the new-and-improved Maryland Health Connection had launched to be ironic and not in a good way. Perhaps you should have looked beyond the health insurance website itself to see if the system really had been improved from...

  • Md. health exchange still a problem

    Md. health exchange still a problem

    No matter what one hears, the Maryland Health Insurance Exchange is still a difficult system to navigate ("Give yourself the gift of quality health care," Dec. 3). I have spent the last week trying to create an account, but since my situation isn't typical, I am on my own. The insurance broker...

  • Give yourself the gift of quality health care

    Give yourself the gift of quality health care

    It's December and quickly creeping toward the next holiday season. We have had Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday. How about taking a step back and giving a gift to yourself?

  • Dems' clout dims

    Dems' clout dims

    Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Benjamin Cardin should realize it's not about the bacon; they were elected to protect the residents of Maryland from federal overreach.

  • Why don't Dems question Md.'s flawed health exchange rollout?

    Why don't Dems question Md.'s flawed health exchange rollout?

    Who are Gov. Martin O'Malley and Attorney General Doug Gansler trying to kid? The reason potential litigation over the flawed rollout of Maryland's health exchange is being postponed is the upcoming election. They are deeply afraid of what Noridian is going to claim about Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown's...

  • How can Ehrlich relish suffering of others?

    How can Ehrlich relish suffering of others?

    It saddens me to see the former congressman and governor of Maryland salivating with anticipation at the thought of depriving millions of Americans of decent health insurance by rolling back the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare is a varsity stinker," Nov. 23).