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UULM-MD members join Health Care for All to celebrate passage of the Alcohol Tax, 2011
UULM-MD has worked since its establishment for health care for all. Now is the time to educate ourselves and others about the implementation of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), which we helped pass. Please review and share this information with others who may benefit.
Beginning on October 1, 2013, the Maryland Health Connection, our state’s insurance exchange responsible for implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—or “Obamacare”-- was operational, although problems with the online registration system existed. The Maryland Health Connection is a one-stop shop for health coverage in Maryland whether you qualify for public or private insurance. You are able to compare benefits, premiums, and prices.
Since August 1, the Exchange’s Customer Service Center in Baltimore has been open, providing answers to questions about the new insurance program. An estimated 800,000 Marylanders are uninsured and many others need more affordable insurance. The state-based insurance exchange provides access to financial assistance for individuals and families to help reduce the cost of monthly insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs. By law, under the Affordable Care Act, most people over the age of 18 must have health insurance beginning in 2014 or pay a fine.
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Majority of Marylanders Believe Climate Change Poses Public Health Threat
Survey Examined Attitudes about Climate Change and Public Health.
BALTIMORE (July 17, 2013) – The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, in conjunction with the Climate Communication Consortium of Maryland and George Mason University, today released the results of the first comprehensive survey of Maryland residents to find out what they think about the public health impacts of climate change. The survey was conducted, in part, to help the Department understand public attitudes about health and the environment, and particularly about two important environmental changes occurring today: climate change and changes in the energy picture of the State and nation.
More than half of Marylanders (52 percent) believe people in the United States are being harmed by climate change. A majority of Marylanders believe respiratory problems, injuries from storms or other extreme weather events and heat stroke will become more common because of climate change.
The survey results provide insight for policy makers, public health officials, and the public about Maryland’s response to climate change and energy needs. As described in the survey report, many people identify threats to health as one of the most important consequences of climate change. Marylanders are already taking personal action to prepare for extreme weather events.
“The survey results help us understand how Marylanders perceive the impact that climate change will have on their health and the health of their communities,” said Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, Secretary of DHMH. The survey also asked about attitudes related to health, extreme weather, and various energy sources. A large majority of respondents (79 percent) believe that over the past year, extreme weather posed a health risk to people in their community.
“A surprisingly large number of Marylanders understand that climate change, and the extreme weather that arises from it, are serious threats to people’s health” said Dr. Edward Maibach, a co-author on the report from George Mason University. “Moreover, climate change also contributes to two of Marylanders’ other top health concerns, air pollution and insect-borne diseases.”
The full survey report can be found at: http://phpa.dhmh.maryland.gov/OEHFP/EH/Shared%20Documents/Maryland_PublicHealth_Energy_ClimateChange_Survey_July2013.pdf.Funded by the Town Creek Foundation, the survey was mailed to 6,401 households in Maryland, randomly selected from within each of four regions. Conducted from March 28 to June 4, 2013, the survey had a response rate of 38 percent. The survey was developed, and results were analyzed, by researchers with the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University. An additional report from this survey – examining Marylanders’ attitudes, behaviors, and policy preferences regarding energy and climate change – will be released later this month.
The UULM-MD Board of Directors has adopted guidelines that UUs may use when fiscal issues arise in relation to our priority issues, such as health care reform or global warming. Please click here to read the guidelines.