Maryland has been a leader on health care in many ways, yet many Marylanders remain uninsured and others struggle with the high cost of health care and prescription drugs. We need to work to ensure that all Marylanders have access to affordable, quality health care.
Ensure coverage for all. Maryland has effectively implemented the Affordable Care Act with the result that our uninsured rate has dropped by more than half. But there is more we can do. We must make sure that we retain what we have achieved while moving towards a system where all Marylanders can get the care they need. At the state level, I support a Medicaid-for-all type solution, where anyone who lacks insurance can buy a low-cost plan through the state.
Keep costs down and quality up. Maryland has a unique system that helps to keep hospital costs down. Now we are working to address costs beyond the hospital. We must use Maryland’s innovation and leadership in this area to drive down costs across the system while ensuring the quality of the health care and the safety of the patients.
Bring down the costs of prescription drugs. The skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs is a significant driver for the rise in health care costs. Last year Maryland's General Assembly passed a bill to prohibit price gouging on off-patent and generic drugs. That was a good first step. However, more can and should be done. The proposal to establish a Drug Cost Commission failed in the legislature this year, but should be reconsidered in 2019.
Focus on the individual, not the institution. Health care is not only increasingly expensive, it is increasingly confusing. It often fails to meet the needs of individuals and families for coordination, communication, and convenience. We need to focus on individuals and families with a model that works for them while protecting the privacy of their information.