Governor O'Malley, Senate President Miller, Speaker Busch Hold First Bill Signing Following 2011 Sine Die
Governor signs groundbreaking health benefit exchange bill
ANNAPOLIS, MD (April 12, 2011)–Governor Martin O’Malley today joined Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr, House Speaker Michael E. Busch, and Lieutenant Governor Anthony G. Brown to sign important legislation aimed at advancing innovation and creating jobs in Maryland. Today, the Governor signed into law legislation creating a governance structure of a Health Benefit Exchange, becoming one of the first states to establish this framework establishing a new online marketplace to allow Marylanders a choice of plans, and information on rates, benefits and quality.
“As a global hub of innovation – a leader in science, security, health, discovery and information technology – Maryland is well-positioned to transform the challenges we face into jobs and opportunity,” said Governor O’Malley. “This legislative session, we found ways to work together to lead the way for other states by being a winner in this new economy and taking a significant step forward in generating capital for our businesses, expanding healthcare to more Marylanders, and creating jobs for our families as we fight for our economic future.”
The Health Benefit Exchange legislation was a recommendation of the Health Reform Coordinating Council, of which Lt. Governor Brown served as co-chair.
“Maryland has a long tradition of health care innovation and leadership, and we are continuing our record of success by becoming one of first states in the nation to establish the framework for a health benefit exchange,” said Lt. Governor Brown. “When up and running, Maryland’s health benefit exchange will provide seamless, one-stop shopping for individuals and small businesses to find high quality health coverage at an affordable price. By bringing all stakeholders together, we have developed a national model for implementing federal health care reform in order to reduce costs, expand access, and improve the quality of care for all Marylanders.”
Implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act will extend health insurance to 350,000 Marylanders and save the state approximately $800 million over ten years. The O’Malley-Brown Administration proposed a package of legislation to move this effort forward in Maryland this year, and Lieutenant Governor Brown successfully shepherded this legislation through the General Assembly.
Maryland has an outstanding infrastructure to support an Innovation Economy. In January, the Milken Institute again ranked Maryland #2 in the nation for technology and science assets. According to study results, while Maryland received high rankings in human capital investment, research and development inputs, technology and science workforce, and technology concentration and dynamism, it lagged behind other states in risk capital and entrepreneurial infrastructure, demonstrating the need for InvestMaryland, which the General Assembly passed last night. The Index provides measurements of the technology and science assets for states, ranking them on their ability to foster and sustain a technology sector, which research has shown is a crucial factor in determining a region's future economic success. The previous study was conducted in 2008.