ANNAPOLIS -- The poorest Marylanders with kidney disease would be treated free, but others needing treatment would pay part of the cost under a bill passed yesterday by the House of Delegates.
The bill would impose a charge on those who make more than $11,000a year or whose assets exceed $12,500.
Those patients would pay 5 percent income or assets above these figures for dialysis treat- ments.
The legislation seeks to provide coverage free or at low cost for the neediest of 4,200 Marylanders now participating in the program, said Delegate Brian K. McHale, D-Baltimore, a member of the House Environmental Matters Committee, which crafted the bill.
Mr. McHale said the committee believes that it has improved on a version of the program offered by the Schaefer administration in an effort to avoid shutting the program down, as was threatened late last year.