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Single-payer Health Care to Get Hearing in Annapolis on Feb. 16

SOURCE: Universal Health Care Action Network (UHCAN)
The Maryland House of Delegate’s Committee on Health and Government Operations will hold a hearing Friday, February 16 on a bill to provide universal health care coverage in Maryland.

If enacted, HB 400 and its companion bill SB 474 would extend coverage to all Marylanders, whether employed or not. It incorporates “single payer” financing of a basic health care package through progressive taxation. HB 400 and its companion bill SB 474 are sponsored by 25 General Assembly members, all Democrats.

The Health and Government Operations Committee is expected to hear testimony from physicians, the homeless, uninsured, and Marylanders who claim to have sub-standard insurance. Clergymen will present the moral and ethical case for universal coverage.

The testimony is expected to contrast universal coverage with proposals to merely reduce the numbers of uninsured through an increase in the tobacco tax.

HB 400 and SB 474 have been endorsed by Universal Health Care Action Network, a Baltimore-based citizen advocacy group for universal health care. The bills’ lead sponsors are Sen. Paul Pinsky, Prince Georges Co., and Delegate Karen Montgomery, Montgomery Co.

For more information, contact Roderick Ryon, 410-889-0329,, or James Baldridge, 410-340-7569, Both are members of UHCAN of Maryland.

For information on single-payer health insurance, visit or For information on hearings and bill status, visit here and enter the bill number.

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This story was published on February 15, 2007.