Sarbanes congratulates O’Malley on Health Care Reform

1/10/11 Sarbanes Release

This morning Congressman John Sarbanes congratulated Governor O’Malley and Lt. Governor Brown for finalizing a plan to implement the federal health insurance reform law in Maryland. The Maryland Health Care Reform Coordinating Council, co-chaired by Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown and Health and Mental Hygiene Secretary John M. Colmers, has just submitted its final report and recommendations guiding successful implementation in Maryland.

“Last year, we made tremendous progress on behalf of American families by passing health insurance reform in the Congress,” said Sarbanes. “But the success of these reforms will also require the committed efforts of dedicated public servants like Governor O’Malley, Lt. Governor Brown and Secretary Colmers at the state and local level.”

At the same time that strides are being made to implement health insurance reform in Maryland and around the country, efforts are underway to repeal the new law. The repeal legislation is likely to come to the House floor in the coming weeks.

“Americans are literally sick and tired of being pushed around by powerful health insurance companies,” said Sarbanes. “Opponents have consistently misrepresented what health insurance reform would mean for the average American and now they are desperate to repeal the law before the truth gets out and the law’s patient protections kick in. We cannot allow them to undermine the work we’ve done to put patients and doctors back in charge of their health care decisions.”

Sarbanes addressed the Governor’s Forum on Children and Health this morning. Below are some examples of how the health care reform law will help Maryland families.

Ban on Discriminating Against Kids with Pre-Existing Conditions: Before reform, tens of thousands of families had been denied insurance for their children because of an illness or condition. Insurance companies are now prohibited from discriminating against kids with pre-existing conditions. This will provide coverage for up to 72,000 uninsured children.

Ban on Insurance Companies Dropping Coverage: Insurance companies can no longer cancel your coverage when you get sick and need it the most because of a simple mistake on your application. Now insurance companies are banned from cutting off your coverage due to an unintentional mistake on your application.

No More Lifetime Limits on Coverage: Before reform, cancer patients and individuals suffering from other serious and chronic diseases were often forced to limit or go without treatment because of an insurer’s lifetime limit on their coverage. Insurance companies can no longer put a lifetime limit on the amount of coverage.

Covering Young Adults on Parent’s Plan: Young adults are now allowed to remain on their parent’s plan until their 26th birthday, unless they are offered coverage at work.

Free Preventive Care: For all new insurance plans, you will receive recommended preventive care with no out-of-pocket cost. Services like mammograms, colonoscopies, immunizations, pre-natal and new baby care will be covered and insurance companies will be prohibited from charging deductibles, co-payments or co-insurance.


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