Governor Martin O'Malley and Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown today issued the following statement on the anniversary of the Affordable Care Act:
"Two years ago today, President Obama had the courage and the foresight to take an important step forward, and our nation is now poised to help millions of American families and small businesses and their employees gain access to high-quality, affordable health care coverage.
"In Maryland, we've extended coverage to over 300,000 of our fellow citizens, half of them children, because we've chosen together to invest in health care.
We are moving forward with implementation of the Affordable Care Act to strengthen coverage, improve health, and support our competitiveness in the global economy. The day after the Affordable Care Act became law, we established the Health Care Reform Coordinating Council to oversee federal reform in Maryland, and today, our State is recognized as a national leader for our efforts to build Maryland's Health Benefit Exchange, and find new and innovative ways to deliver quality, affordable health care to more of our citizens.
"As we continue the conversation about the Affordable Care Act, from our nation's kitchen tables to the Supreme Court, we must ask ourselves what is the cost of inaction? When a small business is paying another 15, 17 or 20 percent annually every year for health insurance, how many fewer employees can they employ? What are the dollars that might have gone into expanding markets for their product or for their services? What are the opportunity costs for our families when a mom or dad has to choose between whether kids have a roof over their head, food on the table or health care?
"Together, we must build that stronger America we all carry in our hearts by making better health care choices for our families and children."
This session, under Lt. Governor Brown's leadership, the Administration is working to pass the Health Benefit Exchange Act of 2012 to support the successful operation of the Exchange and the Maryland Health Improvement and Disparities Reduction Act of 2012 to reduce health care disparities in Maryland.