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...
January 2, 2013
I see former governor and columnist Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. is back doing what he's been doing best for his entire career: Whining, finger-pointing and laying blame everywhere except where it belongs - on himself and his Republican puppet-masters ("Injecting Obamacare into economy will hurt - a lot," Dec. 30). Yes, Obamacare is indeed a pork-laden, convoluted mess, thanks to the Republicans. That's what you get when you try to reach "compromise" with people who are wacko. No, we didn't want Obamacare: We wanted universal, government-run health care like they have in every other industrialized country in the world.
December 18, 2012
We are accustomed to the opprobrium columnist Thomas Schaller heaps on all things Republican. However, his most recent rant on who's to blame for the fiscal cliff deserves further reflection ("Crisis they created catches up with Republicans," Dec. 12). Although Mr. Schaller admits that spending as a percentage of GDP is unprecedentedly high under President Barack Obama, he has been consistent in blaming it on the president's predecessor. Even the progressives' oft referred to arbiter of truth, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, has forecast that we are on track to push the national debt to nearly 200 percent of GDP in 2037.
September 29, 2012
The op-ed by Drs. Joshua M. Sharfstein and Laura Herrera and Charles Milligan ("Caring about costs, too," Sept. 27) offers a compelling set of recommendations to improve the quality of health care while reducing costs. Unfortunately, they neglected to describe the best single evidence-based practice - eliminating private health insurance. Private health insurance adds only costs, but no value, to the delivery of health services. A Cambridge Medical Care Foundation study found that 31 percent of health care spending in the U.S. - equal to more than $600 billion annually - pays for administration, marketing, and the profits of private insurance.
September 28, 2012
A Maryland group led by Howard County health officer Peter Beilenson has received a $65 million loan under federal health reform to start the state's first insurance co-op, a consumer-owned nonprofit that will compete against private insurers to sell health policies. Evergreen Health Cooperative Inc. hopes to begin operations by next October, when consumers will begin buying insurance on the state's new health exchange. The exchange is the market where those not covered by employee insurance can buy health policies under the federal reform law. The company also will sell insurance outside of the exchange.
September 16, 2012
With the exciting news that Maryland has received a new federal grant of $123 million to support the establishment of its health benefit exchange - a critical component of President Barack Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act - we must continue to use smart strategies to guarantee that as many uninsured Marylanders as possible get the health security the law is designed to provide. And because we know that women make about 80 percent of the health care decisions for their families and are more likely to care for ailing family members, we at the Maryland Women's Coalition for Health Care Reform are urging state and community leaders to engage women in this effort as health care consumers, advocates and educators.