Healthcare repeal would damage Maryland

Should the federal healthcare reform law be repealed, the act would prove extremely costly to the Old Line State, according to a report by the Maryland Public Interest Research Group.

Maryland PIRG concluded that not only would the state stand to lose more than $9 billion in Medicaid payments, but that insurance premiums could go up by as much as $3,000 per person annually among employer-based groups, and drive individual premiums up at least 20 percent by 2016.

The report used data compiled from the Congressional Budget Office, business groups and healthcare business analysts.

"In today's economy, the higher costs that would result from repeal are the last thing that Maryland consumers and businesses need," said Jenny Levin, a Maryland PIRG public health associate.

Rather than repealing the law, the report recommends Marylanders on both sides of the healthcare reform debate find common ground to construct health insurance exchanges, use health information technology to keep physicians informed about the latest payment options, and move aggressively to eliminate the practice of balance-billing consumers.

Although repeal of the healthcare reform bill signed into law last March is extraordinarily remote, the U.S. House of Representatives has scheduled a vote on repealing the legislation. Such a move does not have the support of the U.S. Senate or President Barack Obama, who has vowed to veto such a measure should it reach his desk.

For more:
- read the Maryland PIRG report
- read the Baltimore Business Journal report