Our General Assembly just passed legislation to reinstate financial penalties to “nudge” people into a health care plans in order to ensure they have access to coverage. Under this proposed plan the state uses the penalty money charged to the consumer for a down payment on proposed zero dollar plans that they choose FOR YOU. One looming question remains: Who says the plan that the state places YOU in is the BEST plan for YOU? I believe that voters should retain control over that process and be able to choose the best plan for YOUR bodies. I am uncomfortable with the state placing voters in a plan they think is best without consultation with YOU as a client/patient.
Currently, our obesity rate is approximately 28% in Maryland and rising. The data suggest 16% of youth ages 18 -25 are obese, 30% of young adults age 26 – 44 are obese and 35% of adults age 45 – 64 are obese. Obesity related issues such as diabetes has risen to 11% roughly about 500,000 and 33% have Hypertension which equates to over 1.1 million cases in Maryland. We must take a serious tone and proactive actions to address this looming crisis that will cause all Marylander’s rates to rise to offset treatment cost.