Health Care and the 2023 Session

UULM-MD submitted testimony on the HB 709 / SB 632 Small Business and Nonprofit Health Insurance Subsidies Program, which would 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.

UULM-MD has also given its support for reproductive rights, given the national threat to Roe v. Wade in the US Supreme Court.

HB 937SB 890: Abortion Care Access:

Ensures Maryland has enough abortion providers.  Abortion access shouldn’t depend on zip code, yet two-thirds of Maryland counties do not have abortion providers.  

To expand the provider community, we need to:

1. Update Maryland’s law on the provision of abortion care.  Maryland’s outdated law only allows physicians to provide abortion care.  But other pregnancy care is routinely provided by nurse practitioners, nurse-midwives, licensed midwives, and physician assistants. Marylanders should be able to turn to these trusted providers for abortion care, as recommended by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists. Fourteen other states recognize that these practitioners can provide high-quality and safe abortion care. 

2. Support clinical education in abortion care. More health care practitioners would offer abortion care if they had ongoing opportunities for training in abortion care.

HB 952 - Access to Abortion Care and Health Insurance Act

Ensure abortion care is covered like any other health care service.

Abortion access shouldn’t depend on someone’s insurance status. Both private insurance and Medicaid should provide equal abortion coverage without imposing obstacles like cost-sharing and deductible requirements. [Update: This bill was just amended into HB 937 and is before the full House of Delegates for approval]

Finally, we support the movement to enshrine Marylanders’ right to abortion access in the state constitution (HB 1171).  Maryland has a unique opportunity to solidify its protections for abortion access this year. If passed by the General Assembly, it will be on the ballot as a constitutional amendment in November.

HB 1171 – Declaration of Rights – Right to Reproductive Liberty would give Marylanders the chance to vote in November to enshrine the right to choose an abortion in the state constitution. Maryland law already guarantees the legal right to the procedure, but having the right in the constitution would not only strengthen this right, it would also make restrictions—which anti-choice legislators introduce every year—more difficult. Without access to abortion, the right is meaningless. [Update: this measure has passed out of  committee and is before the full House of Delegates for approval]

UULM  with Health Care Banner 1.11.20.jp
Subject
Bill Number
XFile Bill Number
Sponsor
Title
Status
Current Location
Priority
Position
Action
Synopsis
Abortion Access
HB0937
SB0890
Delegate Kelly
Abortion Care Access Act
Gubernatorial Veto Override (Legislative date: 4/8/2022) - Chapter 56
X
Support
Contact Delegates
Establishing the Abortion Care Clinical Training Program in the Maryland Department of Health to ensure that there are a sufficient number of health professionals to provide abortion care; establishing the Abortion Care Clinical Training Program Fund; establishing certain requirements regarding abortion services, including provision and coverage requirements, for the Maryland Medical Assistance Program and certain insurers; requiring the Governor to include in the annual budget bill an appropriation of $3,500,000 to the Program; etc.
Abortion Access
SB0890
HB0937
Senator Kelley
Abortion Care Access Act
Failed: no vote in committee
Health and Government Operations
X
Support
Contact Senator on Committee
Establishing the Abortion Care Clinical Training Program in the Maryland Department of Health to ensure that there are a sufficient number of health professionals to provide abortion care; establishing the Abortion Care Clinical Training Program Fund; establishing certain requirements regarding abortion services, including provision and coverage requirements, for certain entities and persons; requiring the Governor to include in the annual budget bill an appropriation of $3,500,000 to the Program; etc.
Coverage for Abortion Services
HB0952
Delegate Kelly
Access to Abortion Care and Health Insurance Act
Failed: no vote in committee
Health and Government Operations
X
Support
Combined with HB 937
Establishing certain requirements regarding abortion care services, including provision and coverage requirements on the Maryland Medical Assistance Program and certain insurers, nonprofit health service plans, and health maintenance organizations; requiring the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange to adopt regulations to provide a certain subsidy to cover the cost of insurance premiums for certain young adults; etc.
Right to reproductive liberty
HB1171
Delegate Jones, A.
Declaration of Rights - Right to Reproductive Liberty
Failed: no vote in committee
Finance
X
Support
Contact Delegates
Proposing an amendment to the Maryland Constitution to establish that every person, as a central component of the individual's rights to liberty and equality, has the fundamental right to reproductive liberty; prohibiting the State from directly or indirectly denying, burdening, or abridging the right unless justified by a compelling State interest achieved by the least restrictive means; and submitting the amendment to the qualified voters of the State at the next general election to be held in November 2022.
Small & Nonprofit subsidies
HB0709
SB0632
Delegate Lewis, R.
Maryland Health Benefit Exchange - Small Business and Nonprofit Health Insurance Subsidies Program - Workgroup
Failed: not referred to standing committee
Rules
X
Support
Testimony submitted
Requiring the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange to convene a workgroup to study the establishment of a Small Business and Nonprofit Health Insurance Subsidies Program to provide subsidies to small businesses and nonprofit employers for the purchase of health benefit plans; requiring the Exchange to report the workgroup's recommendations by October 1, 2022; and stating the intent of the General Assembly that the Governor include an appropriation in the annual budget bill, beginning in fiscal year 2024, to establish the Program.
Small & Nonprofit subsidies
SB0632
HB0709
Senator Hester
Maryland Health Benefit Exchange - Small Business and Nonprofit Health Insurance Subsidies Program - Workgroup
Returned Passed
Governor
X
Support
Testimony submitted
Requiring the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange to convene a workgroup to study and make recommendations relating to the establishment of a Small Business and Nonprofit Health Insurance Subsidies Program to provide subsidies to small businesses and nonprofit employers and their employees for the purchase of health benefit plans; and requiring the workgroup to submit its report to the Governor and certain committees of the General Assembly by October 1, 2022.