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NEWS
By Larry Carson, The Baltimore Sun | May 12, 2010
Howard County's innovative health access plan for the uninsured who have limited income will likely survive another year, though funding limits could hamper operations. At least three of the five county council members said they will support the $500,000 requested to get the program through another fiscal year, though program officials said an inability to get more money from private foundations will force a 750-patient limit. The program had 621 people enrolled at the end of April.
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HEALTH
Dan Rodricks | October 2, 2013
It's a beautiful thing: Thousands of people in Western Maryland - that cradle of rural conservatism and fed-up secessionists who want to declare their independence as the country's 51st state - are now eligible for affordable health insurance under Obamacare. And 100 trained and certified Obamacare specialists are standing by at numerous locations in the five Western Maryland counties to help them enroll. Is this a great country, or what? No matter where you live, no matter what your political affiliation, you still get to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act - the one that tea party conservatives in Congress keep trying to destroy.
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HEALTH
By Larry Carson, The Baltimore Sun | April 17, 2010
Howard County's fledgling health access plan for the uninsured could change into a regional nonprofit health insurance co-op for limited-income working families, the plan's chief architect said. Under the recently passed federal law that requires everyone to have health insurance by 2014, Healthy Howard cannot survive in its current form, its creator, Dr. Peter L. Beilenson, said last week.. That is because the innovative health access plan for Howard County residents is not insurance, and it relies heavily on doctors and hospitals providing free care, he said.
HEALTH
Dan Rodricks | February 16, 2013
Peter Beilenson — doctor and public health visionary, Baltimore health commissioner, Howard County health officer, quick-study scholar and decoder of federal regulations — remains one of our most interesting men. A person whose leadership has certainly improved the lives of thousands of Marylanders over the last 20 years, from Baltimore heroin addicts to young families in Columbia, Beilenson is now trying to establish a nonprofit health insurance...
NEWS
By Larry Carson, The Baltimore Sun | April 30, 2010
A grass-roots, faith-based Howard County coalition is mobilizing supporters for a door-knocking campaign to find more people who are eligible for health care under the county's Healthy Howard plan. The group, called People Acting Together in Howard, or PATH, has also won a promise from County Executive Ken Ulman to push for lower-interest borrowing rates for consumers by moving public monies out of banks that charge high rates. Maryland's ceiling for credit card interest is 24 percent, Ulman said, but the group said banks often raise interest to 30 percent, even on people who have never been late with a payment.
NEWS
By Larry Carson, The Baltimore Sun | May 19, 2010
Howard County's innovative health care access program survived two attempts to sharply cut its funding as the County Council approved a $1.4 billion budget Wednesday from County Executive Ken Ulman virtually intact. The council's lone Republican, Greg Fox, was the sole opponent of the main budget bill, and his three suggested cuts were all rejected by the Democrats on the five-member body. The votes approved a spending plan that leaves tax rates untouched, but gives county workers no cost-of-living raises and a four-day unpaid furlough between Christmas and New Year's, just as last year.
NEWS
By Larry Carson, The Baltimore Sun | April 27, 2010
Advocates for Howard County's innovative health access plan are mounting an aggressive campaign to win County Council approval of another $500,000 in scarce public dollars next fiscal year to head off criticism from Republican Councilman Greg Fox. Fox has argued that the experimental program for uninsured people with limited incomes has not met stated enrollment or finance goals and the county should reduce or eliminate public funding for it....
NEWS
By Arthur Hirsch, The Baltimore Sun | July 5, 2012
Thousands of Howard residents have stepped from the parking lot of the Health Department offices through the glass door to the county's Door to HealthCare program in the past 18 months, using this portion of the innovative Healthy Howard project to search for a doctor and a way to pay for services. The door will remain open for the foreseeable future and will admit more people with the advent of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2014. Changes are in the offing at Healthy Howard.
NEWS
By Larry Carson, The Baltimore Sun | October 14, 2010
Questions about health care, both on national policy and on Howard County's home-grown Healthy Howard program, produced sharp divisions among candidates at two forums last week. At Wednesday morning's Chamber of Commerce event at a Columbia hotel, Republican District 5 County Councilman Greg Fox, the most vocal critic of Healthy Howard, was up against his Democratic opponent, Dr. Zaneb Beams, the Clarksville pediatrician who worked to help enact national health care reform and to help the local program find more participants.
HEALTH
By Larry Carson, The Baltimore Sun | February 17, 2011
Howard County's health access plan for the uninsured will need another infusion of $500,000 in county funding next fiscal year, though county health officer Dr. Peter L. Beilenson said that in addition to his budget request, he has some new private grants and is seeking more. "We think we're OK asking for level funding," Beilenson said after speaking to a lunchtime gathering of the Association of Community Services on Wednesday at the Owen Brown Interfaith Center in Columbia. Beilenson was referring to past support for the program — a key initiative of County Executive Ken Ulman's — from three of the five County Council members.
NEWS
By Arthur Hirsch, The Baltimore Sun | July 5, 2012
Thousands of Howard residents have stepped from the parking lot of the Health Department offices through the glass door to the county's Door to HealthCare program in the past 18 months, using this portion of the innovative Healthy Howard project to search for a doctor and a way to pay for services. The door will remain open for the foreseeable future and will admit more people with the advent of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2014. Changes are in the offing at Healthy Howard.
NEWS
Dan Rodricks | June 28, 2012
On the day the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the central provisions of the federal health care overhaul he has championed as Maryland's most visible public health official, Dr. Peter Beilenson revealed, publicly and for the first time, that he has Parkinson's disease. He brought it up during my WYPR radio show Thursday afternoon, and he mentioned it to television reporters who chased him for a sound bite after the court's historic ruling. "I was diagnosed five years ago," said Beilenson, 52, the chief health officer of Howard County and former health commissioner of Baltimore.
NEWS
By Ken Ulman and Peter Beilenson | April 8, 2012
With a far more contentious hearing than expected before the Supreme Court, President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act (ACA) could be struck down by a sharply divided court when it rules in June. If that happens, insurance will continue to be priced beyond the means of many. It is therefore prudent to look at possible alternatives for these Americans. Fortunately, a proven model exists today in Howard County: the Healthy Howard Health Plan. With some changes to its financing structure, it could emerge as a viable option for Americans who will not be able to afford to buy insurance should the ACA be struck down.
EXPLORE
August 1, 2011
The story in the July 21 issue headlined "Healthy Howard wins award for its health coaching" implied that the value of health coaching is questioned by some of our consumers and leaders. The article failed to mention that the top submissions for this award were selected by 46 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services panel members prior to the public vote. Health coaching helps improve health literacy, which is defined as "the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic information and services needed to make appropriate decisions regarding their health," (Institute of Medicine, 2004.
EXPLORE
August 1, 2011
This past week's "At a glance" column noted County Council member Greg Fox's opposition to Healthy Howard receiving an award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This reminds many of us of the worthy reasons for the council member to take just the opposite position. For example, the African American Coalition of Howard County, at the inception of Healthy Howard, spent many months traveling to over 30 county churches introducing the program, resulting in many residents being thankful for the opportunity to receive the health-care benefits of the program.
EXPLORE
June 9, 2011
I read with interest the letters from Dr. Eric Naumburg and Dr. Jerry L. Levine. They both brought up interesting points. As a member of the Howard County Citizens Association's emergency-room committee I was closely involved with the organizing of the HCCA health care forum, and our main goal was to do something about the problems we have now. For a long-term solution, a single-payer system may well provide a solution to the problems of the...
NEWS
By Larry Carson, The Baltimore Sun | May 15, 2011
Pollution of the Chesapeake Bay can't be eliminated in one summer, and there's no apparent way to find a job for every unemployed youth in Howard County, but a faith-based county group says it has a plan to make a dent in both problems. People Acting Together in Howard, or PATH, is combining efforts with County Executive Ken Ulman to create summer youth jobs by training and paying students to build dozens of small rain gardens to help reduce polluting stormwater runoff. PATH is asking for county government funding for summer 2012.
HEALTH
By Larry Carson, The Baltimore Sun | May 12, 2011
Howard County's unusual health access program for the uninsured is winning a much warmer reception for the coming budget year, after its county funding barely survived a 3-2 County Council vote last year. "I'm going to support it," Ellicott City Democrat Courtney Watson said at a Tuesday meeting, after praising the program's efforts to attract more private grants and complimenting the health department's expanded "Door to Health" electronic application program. Watson voted against using county money for the program last spring because she said public money should not be used to pay for health coaches to guide patients.
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