Become a digitalPLUS subscriber. 99¢ for 4 weeks.
NewsOpinionReaders Respond

Health care reforms must continue

Health InsuranceConsumers

Maryland Health and Mental Hygiene Secretary Joshua M. Sharfstein and his co-authors were right on the money in their recent commentary regarding the importance of making health care more affordable as the state goes about implementing federal health reform ("Caring about costs, too," Sept. 27).

We at the Maryland Health Care For All! Coalition applaud his vision and embrace the opportunity to transform Maryland's health care system to reduce costs, improve health outcomes and achieve health equity. Improving access to preventive, seamless, high quality care through the new initiatives that Secretary Sharfstein proposes are very important to move us forward. As we move forward together, we as patients, caregivers and community stakeholders also have an important role to play in building a more cost-effective and high-quality health care system.

While Maryland leads the nation in implementing innovative policies to expand access to care, there is still much work to be done and policy decisions to be made. The ultimate success of the endeavors outlined by Dr. Sharfstein will be in the hands of consumers and whether they choose to participate in the new Maryland Health Connection, claim tax credits or enroll in other new programs like the Patient Centered Medical Home program. Consumers have an unique and necessary perspective to add to the conversation and influence the design and financing of these programs.

On behalf of the 1,200 consumer organizations we represent, we are committed to working closely with the O'Malley-Brown Administration, other health advocates and providers to achieve our shared vision of a quality, affordable health care system that works for all Marylanders. In the past, we've built support for policies that expanded care to 300,000 Maryland families funded, in part, by tobacco tax increases. Let's continue to build on this partnership and continue our collective efforts to develop a stronger health care system while engaging and educating consumers about how to take advantage of the future of health care coverage in Maryland.

Vincent DeMarco, Baltimore

The writer is president of the Maryland Citizens Health Initiative.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
Health InsuranceConsumers
  • 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).

  • Sun's stupidity is showing
    Sun's stupidity is showing

    You have published several articles recently in support of Obamacare but have chosen to ignore the news of how this hoax was enacted through deception, fraud, misrepresentation of material facts and outright lies ("Who are you calling stupid?" Nov. 14)!

  • Health exchange officials must work to improve the quality of care
    Health exchange officials must work to improve the quality of care

    The National Alliance on Mental Illness applauds the Easter Seals' recent article encouraging lawmakers to improve health insurance plan benefits for millions of Americans ("Getting what you pay for in the ACA," Nov. 15).

  • 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...

  • Why is The Sun ignoring Gruber?
    Why is The Sun ignoring Gruber?

    This past week several videos have surfaced showing one of the architects of Obamacare saying it only passed because the American people are stupid and were lied to ("Who are you calling stupid?" Nov. 14). According to Jonathan Gruber, our elected officials lied to us about keeping our...

  • Obamacare: Beyond the website
    Obamacare: Beyond the website

    While it's too early to declare the new Maryland health insurance exchange website a complete success, its largely smooth launch this week offers the prospect that this open enrollment period will be focused less on the technology and more on ensuring Marylanders are getting access to high...

  • Health site has political overtones
    Health site has political overtones

    The Maryland Health Connection website is certainly much improved from its original debut, but why has it been politicized ("With Obamacare, health insurance leads to better health," Nov. 18)? The prominent heading on the exchange is "Change is here" echoing President Barack Obama's campaign...

Comments
Loading