Health Care Changes Expected to Save Maryland, Cost Virginia Money | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Filed Under:

Health Care Changes Expected to Save Maryland, Cost Virginia Money

Play associated audio

By Rebecca Blatt

States are releasing their estimates of how much the new federal health care law will cost them. Virginia says it will amount to about $1 billion dollars over the next decade or so, but Maryland says the law will save it about $1 billion.

The key to the difference is the fact that Maryland already offers relatively generous benefits, while Virginia does not. For instance, to the tune of approximately $100 million a year, Maryland subsidizes insurance for high-risk people. John Colmers, Maryland's Secretary for Health and Mental Hygiene, says that will change.

"We will not have to do that when the insurance rules are rewritten to eliminate pre-existing condition restrictions," says Colmers.

There will be some cost to the new federal law. But Colmers says reductions in other services will more than make up for it in Maryland.

Not so in Virginia. Medicaid, the health insurance program for the poor, will be the Commonwealth's biggest expense. Virginia will have to cover many people who already would be covered in Maryland.

Joan Alker, co-executive director of Georgetown University's Center for Children and Families, says there are upsides to that. The federal government will pay for almost all the expansion.

"So for a state like Virginia, that has not been as generous as a state like Maryland in its coverage, they'll actually get more federal dollars and benefit more from the reform bill," says Alker.

But they’ll also have to pay more. That’s why the new law may cost Virginia money and save it for Maryland at the same time.

NPR

New Technology Immerses Audiences At Sundance Film Festival

From flying like a bird to walking through a refugee camp in Syria, virtual reality has enabled journalists, filmmakers and artists to immerse their audience in their stories like never before.
NPR

Sandwich Monday: Girl Scout Cookie Coffeemate

For this week's Sandwich Monday, we try Girl Scout Cookies in a new form. Coffeemate has somehow blended them into nondairy creamer, so you can start your day the disturbing way.
WAMU 88.5

Court Approves McDonnell's Request To Remain Free During Appeal

A federal appeals court is approving former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's request to remain free while he appeals his corruption convictions.
NPR

Facebook, Instagram Suffer Outage

Facebook suffered a widespread outage lasting roughly 40 minutes on Tuesday affecting users in the United States, Asia, the United Kingdom and Australia.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.