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Contact Legislators Now

Below are talking points to construct a suggested message or written testimony that you can edit, personalize, copy and paste into an email message to your delegate and senator urging them to support Access to Care, HB 728 / SB 705. Additionally, below the talking points is a fully constructed message that you can cut and paste into an email message to your legislators.

After editing, personalizing, copying the message, look up your legislator, and then paste the text in the email message. Also remember when addressing to your senator that you change the heading from HB728 to SB705 and change HB728 references in the text to SB705

  1. Find your legislator here. (On the MGA site, click Lookup, then type your address and zip code.) Your legislators will have an option to send them Email messages.

  2. Click the Email option for the legislator.

Talking Points IN FAVOR of ACCESS TO CARE, HB728 / SB705

 

  • 112,400 Marylanders are uninsured and ineligible for health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) because of their immigration status, despite working on the frontlines during the pandemic, paying millions of dollars in federal, state, and local taxes, contributing billions of dollars to state and national economies.

  • They account for about thirty percent of Maryland’s remaining uninsured population

  • Implications are obvious:

    • Immigrant families must rely on the internet or home remedies for medical help when it comes to life or death medical issues

    • As one resident remarked, “Google is my doctor.”

    • When one considers the spread of communicable diseases, for example – flu, COVID-19, measles – Maryland communities are faced with a public health issue.

  • Maryland can solve this by taking advantage of the Affordable Care Act’s State Innovation Waiver program known as a Section 1332 Waiver.

  • Section 1332 of the ACA allows states to seek to waive certain provisions of the Act. Nineteen states have taken advantage of the State Innovation Waiver program including Maryland in 2019.

  • Maryland can amend its waiver to open the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange/Marketplace (ACA coverage) to all Marylanders regardless of immigration status.

  • A Section 1332 Waiver is not dependent on the availability of state funds.

  • Maryland can apply for the waiver amendment to establish the program and allow qualified residents to enroll in Qualified Health Plans at no cost to the state.

  • The Kaiser Family Foundation found that non-citizens are more likely to be uninsured. Forty-six percent of immigrants were uninsured versus 9% among citizens. Citizen children with one non-citizen parent were twice as likely to be uninsured than children with two citizen parents.

  • The Journal of the American Medical Association reported a study that found low-income immigrants healthcare use and cost remains low, refuting the widely held belief that providing insurance to immigrants imposes a heavy fiscal burden. The study found that providing insurance to immigrants costs the health care system less than half the corresponding cost for US-born adults ($3800 vs $9428 per person per year).

  • We know that greater access to healthcare will lessen the costs and burdens on our emergency room infrastructure, will result in higher rates of early detection and better management of chronic diseases thus increasing the overall health of all Maryland communities.

 

The ASK:

I join the more than 4000 Maryland Unitarian Universalists whose faith calls us to promote and affirm justice, equity and compassion in human relations. Surely, providing access to health care for our vulnerable neighbors is the moral, compassionate, right, smart, and safe thing to do for Maryland. I ask that you and the members of the committee vote favorably for HB728 / SB7095.

Sources:

Read the full Kaiser Family Foundation assessment.

Read the full JAMA Report HERE

 

Read the MD Health Benefit Exchange info HERE
Read about the 1332 waiver info HERE
Read CASA's info HERE

Another suggested message that you can cut and paste

 

Dear Delegate - - -

 

As a constituent, I encourage you to support HB728/SB705, Health Insurance - Qualified Resident Enrollment Program (Access to Care Act).

HB 728 / SB 705 addresses critical health disparities faced by the immigrant community in Maryland by expanding the Affordable Care Act to all Marylanders, regardless of their immigration status, by a simple act of requiring the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange (MHBE) to request a 1332 waiver to allow Maryland residents, regardless of immigration status, to purchase insurance on the Exchange. HB 728 represents an important milestone in our journey toward creating a resilient healthcare system.

 

This bill is about making sure that hard-working, taxpaying Marylanders can have access to the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange and the opportunity to pay for health care insurance. This is bill is a win-win. It is not only in the best interest of the individuals and families but also in the best interest of the state as reducing the uninsured population results in savings in Emergency Room care because people can access more affordable, preventative care.

Although Maryland has taken bold steps to decrease the uninsured rate, a staggering 30% of the uninsured are denied healthcare coverage solely because of their immigration status. This systematic and structural inability to access routine, comprehensive, affordable care has led uninsured Marylanders to seek out the most expensive type of care there is: emergency departments. When individuals have access to primary care, it results in higher rates of early detection and better long-term management of chronic diseases and serious illnesses, a decrease in mortality rates, and an increase in overall healthier and wealthier communities.

I join the more than 4000 Maryland Unitarian Universalists whose faith calls us to promote and affirm justice, equity and compassion in human relations. Surely, providing access to health care for our vulnerable neighbors is the moral, compassionate, right, smart, and safe thing to do for Maryland. I ask that you and the members of the committee vote favorably for HB728 / SB705.

Thank you for your consideration.

TalkingPointsAccesstoCare
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