Health Care and the 2020 Session
As bills are introduced, we will provide bill numbers and links to the actual bill text.
Last year, UULM -MD supported the passage of the 2019 Maryland Prescription Drug Affordability Board to help make all drugs, including brand name and specialty drugs more affordable. The Board will look at high cost prescription drugs and determine fair appropriate rates, and begin to establish upper limits for state and local government entities to pay (pending approval of the Legislative Policy Committee.) It will look at prescription drugs, including high-cost, brand name medications. So people don ’t have to choose between getting well or getting lunch.
The 2020 legislation will establish a permanent funding mechanism. It is necessary to prevent threats to the Board doing its work such as happened in 2019. The General Assembly designated approximately $800,000 to fully support the Board and its activities before it establishes a revenue source, but the Governor did not release the funding. This legislation will also accelerate the Board's plans to institute an assessment on pharmaceutical manufacturers and supply chain members beginning in 2020.
Expand health care coverage by helping small businesses provide health care for their employees. Providing incentives for small employers to offer health insurance under the Small Business Health Option Program (SHOP) could increase the number of employees covered from the low rate of 27.7% Investing additional funds for tax credits would encourage employers to participate in SHOP. Investing in marketing and administering SHOP would help employers learn about the program and increase participation in it. Simplifying the small business tax formula would reduce one of the barriers that discourages employers from participating in the program.
For more information, please contact the Health Care Task Force Chair Betty McGarvie Crowley at HealthCare@uulmmd.org.