November 15, 2011 - The Baltimore Sun
By Meredith Cohn
Officials from a health care advocacy group have presented something of a road map to the state leaders at the Maryland Health Exchange Board, whose members are working to implement the national health care reform law.
The Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative officials say the plan would make health care more affordable.
They also pledged to help get the state officials new legal authority to implement some of the suggestions – the state legislature will be defining the board’s duties more clearly during the next session.
The proposal was supported by documents prepared by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Center for Medical Technology Policy, and America’s Agenda.
“We are proposing policies to the exchange board which will help to make quality health care affordable for all Marylanders,’ said Vincent DeMarco, president of the Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative.
“We want the Board to have maximum flexibility to use proven methods such as active purchasing and selective contracting as well as encouraging primary care medical homes that make health care more affordable,” he said. “We will mobilize the over 1200 faith, community, labor, business and health care groups in our statewide coalition to support legislation to give the board this authority.”
DeMarco also pushed the idea of upping the state tobacco tax to help fund some initiatives.
The extensive proposal can be viewed here.