Baltimore Sun

400,000 Marylanders to get aid to buy health coverage

Among the big questions – and controversies – revolving around the new health care reform law, are how many people who can’t afford coverage will get subsidies and how much they will get.

A new report from reform advocates Families USA shows that more than 400,000 people in Maryland will get a tax credit in 2014 to help pay for health insurance. Collectively, their tax bill will be reduced by $1.5 billion.

Nationally, taxes are expected to be reduced by $110 billion in 2014, according to the report.


Among those slated to get a credit in the state, about 202,000 are uninsured and another 211,400 have insurance but have trouble paying for it. The majority, almost 361,000, are in families with a member working full time.

The credits will be awarded on a sliding scale, with lower income people getting more than middle income people. A family of four would be eligible, for example, if they earn between $29,327 and $88,200. Those with the even lower incomes will be added to Medicaid roles.


"This is the largest middle-income tax cut in history, and it will enable many hard-working Marylanders to afford health insurance premiums that have stretched family budgets," said Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, in a conference call to reporters. "The tax cut will not only put significant extra cash in Marylanders' pocketbooks, but it will also ease the burden of families' growing health care costs."

He refuted claims by Republicans that the reform law in general would increase the debt and end up costing other Americans more in insurance premiums. Pollack said more people with insurance will mean less uncompensated care and lower premiums for everyone. Efficiencies in the public health systems also will lower the overall cost of the program.

Many Americans still do not support the new health care law, however, and Republicans have vowed to defund it or repeal at least parts of it.