Facing a $1 million cut, the Maryland Department of Aging is focusing on providing more at-home services to keep the elderly out of costly nursing homes.
Coming on the heels of last year’s $4 million budget cuts, the $1 million cut in the governor’s fiscal 2014 budget is 2% of the department’s overall budget. At the same time, the department is confronting the needs of the rapidly-aging Baby Boomer generation.
State budget officials do not know how many state employees will qualify for medical coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act, or how much it will cost to comply with provisions beginning Jan. 1.
That number could be as high as $88 million for Maryland government
The O’Malley administration is asking state legislators to take the final steps to implement the Affordable Care Act in Maryland, and pass another bill to pave the way for expanded health insurance under Obamacare. The proposed Maryland Health Progress Act of 2013 would dedicate funding to the state health exchange and make other changes required by federal law before the Jan. 1, 2014 deadline .
Policy analysts are criticizing UMBC’s Hilltop Institute for a health care reform study released earlier this month that showed economic growth from the Affordable Care Act because they said it was too narrowly focused on spending and job creation.
Health care system reforms under the Affordable Care Act will cost the state billions to implement but are also projected to generate income from FY 2014 to FY 2020 as a result of the newly insured, a new study reports.
Researchers at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s Hilltop Institute estimate that the unemployment rate will decrease nearly 1% by 2020 as a result of almost 135,000 jobs created across all sectors by the new legislation.
The Affordable Care Act upheld by the Supreme Court in late June is unbelievably complicated, results in new tax burdens, require lots of new paperwork, makes the shortage of primary care physicians worse and will likely produce some surprises as unexpected consequences unfold.
But it will expand health insurance coverage and possibly bend down the curve on costs by giving better access to care and changing payment methods, according to a trio of CEOs of the Baltimore region’s top health care providers.
Chief Justice John Roberts’ opinion that the penalty for not buying health insurance in the Affordable Care Act is a tax helped spike a revival of the old chestnut: “The power to tax is the power to destroy.”
It was also a reminder that the power of Congress to directly tax the citizenry was one of the most hotly debated provisions of the new Constitution as the states considered whether to ratify it back in 1787 and 1788.
The torrent of comment on the Supreme Court decision to uphold most of the Affordable Care Act fell predictably along party and ideological lines: Democrats and progressives were exulting; Republicans and conservatives were disgusted, except for the ruling that the individual mandate was a tax. It will take several days to digest the full implications, but here are lightly edited versions of over two dozen Maryland reactions.
As the U.S. Supreme Court heard its third and final day of arguments Wednesday on the constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s health care law, Maryland plunged ahead in preparing the state for the law’s implementation.
Despite concerns that the 2010 Affordable Care Act could be overturned by the Supreme Court, both chambers of the General Assembly have approved bills backed by Gov. Martin O’Malley that lay the groundwork for the execution of the federal law on the state level.
Maryland must rely more on nurses and non-physician health care providers when the federal Affordable Care Act is fully adopted in 2014, said American Public Health Association President Dr. Melvin Shipp.