Maryland Democrats Offer Health Care Reform Bills
Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.) and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) recently introduced two of many bills that are "circulating in advance of health care hearings Congress is expected to hold this year," the Baltimore Sun reports.
Cardin has introduced legislation that would require all uninsured U.S. residents to enroll in health plans and require HHS to partner with health insurers to develop three low-cost plans for residents with annual incomes less than 400% of the federal poverty level.
According to Cardin, the bill would reduce the number of uninsured residents by two-thirds. Cardin said, "It clearly is not the end of health care reform. It would be the beginning of health care reform" (Hay Brown, Baltimore Sun, 8/3).
Van Hollen introduced a bill that would allow states to negotiate discounts on prescription drugs for residents with no medication coverage and annual incomes less than 300% of the poverty level (California Healthline, 7/30).
The legislation "says we're going to trust states," Van Hollen said, adding, "We don't think that they should have to come to the federal government and beg for permission to provide better access to affordable prescription drugs for their people" (Baltimore Sun, 8/3).