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

Out Of Ukraine, This 'Suitcase' Packs An Immigrant's Story With Humor

Ari Shapiro talks with first-time novelist Yelena Akhtiorskaya about her book, Panic in a Suitcase.
NPR

McDonald's Responsible For Treatment Of Workers, Agency Says

The National Labor Relations Board has found that McDonald's shares responsibility for working conditions at its franchised restaurants. The company will fight the ruling.
NPR

The New SuperPAC That Spends Big So That Others Spend Less

A new SuperPAC aims to reduce the influence of big money in politics — and it's starting by raising millions of dollars, in part from wealthy donors.
NPR

OkCupid Sometimes Messes A Bit With Love, In The Name Of Science

OkCupid, the online dating site, disclosed Monday that they sometimes manipulate their users' profiles for experiments.

Leave a Comment

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