The Maryland Health Security Act
1. The Maryland Health Security Act (MHSA) includes everybody living in the state. Including everybody is the best way to stop the spread of infectious diseases because people who become ill can receive care early in the illness instead of being out in the community and spreading infections. Controlling infectious diseases is becoming one of our greatest challenges.
2. The MHSA provides continuous coverage from birth to death without gaps or cracks to fall through. When a person becomes ill, even if they have to stop working, they continue to receive care. This is what we call health security. It takes some of the worry out of being ill or injured so that patients can focus on becoming well again.
3. The MHSA provides free choice of provider and health facility. All providers are in the system so there is no going “out of network” and no financial penalties for choosing the doctor you want to see.
4. The MHSA increases the quality of health care by providing ongoing information to health care providers about what treatments and medications are the most effective. This information is easier to obtain because health data can be collected on everybody in the system.
5. The MHSA restores patient privacy. Only health care providers are allowed to view medical information on patients. Administrators are not allowed to review charts for the purposes of denying care.
6. The MHSA restores the relationship between patients and health care providers. Medical decisions are made by patients and health care providers without interference from insurance administrators.
7. The MHSA restores the incentive to improve health care instead of increasing profit. Because everybody is in the same system, the incentive is to make it the best system possible.
8. The MHSA is accountable to the people of the state instead of private insurance company investors. Planning budgets and public reviews will be conducted.=2 0
9. The MHSA creates a system of health care that is simpler to use for patients and health care providers. No more mountains of paperwork or hours on the phone. There will be only one system to deal with.
10. The MHSA simplifies administration which saves money (and trees). Private insurers spend up to 31% of their dollars on administration. In places with a single system, administrative costs are less than 10% and can be less than 5%.
11. The MHSA will lower the cost of pharmaceuticals and medical devices because the system can negotiate for better prices.
12. The MHSA will help keep our health care providers in practice by creating a friendlier environment in which to practice. There will also be tuition assistance for health care providers who specialize in areas, such as primary care, that currently have shortages..
13. The MHSA is better for families. There will be no more co-pays and ded uctibles. Families will pay less to the system than they do now for insurance premiums. Contributions will be based on ability to pay.
14. The MHSA is better for businesses. Businesses which currently pay for health care will pay less than they do now. Workers will be healthier. And the savings can be used for higher wages, better benefits and/or hiring.
15. The MHSA is different from other types of reform because it includes everyone (everybody in and nobody out) and saves money for patients, families, businesses, health care providers and the state.