Maryland Friedman 2013

Financing the Maryland Health Security Act

Author: Gerald Friedman
Published: February 2013
Financed by: not mentioned.
Legislation analyzed: Maryland Health Security Act

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This policy memo explores the economic implications of enacting the Maryland Health Security Act (MHSA) and establishing the Maryland Health System Trust (MHST) a single-payer system to finance health care in Maryland. The proposed trust would finance virtually all necessary medical care including hospital care, doctor visits, dental care, mental health, prescribed occupational and physical therapy, prescription drugs, medical devices as well as medically necessary nursing home care and home health care. Medical care would be financed through the MHST without co-payments or deductibles.

The MHST will finance medical care with substantial savings compared with the existing multi-payer system of public and private insurers. Some of these savings would be used to extend coverage to the 15 percent of nonelderly adults in Maryland without insurance and to improve coverage for the growing number with inadequate coverage. In addition to improving access to health care, the MHST would reduce economic inequality by replacing the current regressive system of health insurance finance with progressive and proportional taxes. By reducing administrative and other waste, the MHST would increase real disposable income for most Maryland residents while reducing the burden of health care on Maryland businesses.