(WASHINGTON, D.C.) –As Republicans continue to flounder publicly and behind closed doors in their attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, members of Maryland’s Congressional delegation gathered Wednesday to hear from state officials and health care experts how Marylanders would be affected. U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, with Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Anthony Brown, John K. Delaney, Jamie Raskin, C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger and John P. Sarbanes held an in-depth discussion with Maryland Department of Mental Health and Hygiene Secretary Dennis Schrader, as well as leaders of Maryland’s largest insurer CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, the University of Maryland Medical System and a family practitioner whose shared stories about the positive impact of the ACA on patients. Last month, all Democratic members of Team Maryland sent a letter to Governor Larry Hogan urging him to reach out to his fellow Republicans to minimize the damage that could be done to Marylanders and our state’s health care system.

“Maryland families are fearful of how a repeal of the Affordable Care Act will impact them. The concern is real. If the Republicans are able to succeed in repealing the ACA without an adequate replacement, every Marylander with health insurance, not only the hundreds of thousands who gained coverage under the ACA, would be hurt by higher costs and lesser benefits. The rollback of the Medicaid expansion alone would be disastrous and cost our state billions,” said U.S. Senator Ben Cardin. “As a delegation, Team Maryland is working to keep the promise of affordable, accessible, high quality health care for our constituents. It should be a right and not a privilege in our country.”

"Our meeting with health care experts reemphasized that stripping away vital provisions of the Affordable Care Act would be disastrous for Maryland families -- especially those in the rural parts of our state,” Senator Van Hollen said. “Hundreds of thousands of Marylanders would lose their access to insurance and could pay thousands of dollars more per year for care. I stand with Team Maryland in our commitment to protecting access to care and preventing the chaos that would ensue if Republicans succeed in dismantling our health care system."

“Protecting Marylanders’ access to quality, affordable health care must remain a top priority,” said Congressman Hoyer. “Repealing the Affordable Care Act would mean taking away health coverage from 347,000 Marylanders, including 60,000 children. After hearing from a panel of experts including representatives from the insurance industry and medical practitioners, it is critical that Congress do everything in its power to protect the Affordable Care Act. Now that Republicans are in control of Congress and the White House, they alone are responsible for what happens to our health care system. Instead of actively working to repeal the law, Republicans should work with Democrats to improve the Affordable Care Act so that more Americans have access to quality care. I will continue to work with my colleagues in the Maryland delegation to fight against attempts repeal the lifesaving law, and work to expand access to more Marylanders.”

“It’s important we understand how repeal will affect Marylanders before any vote happens,” Congressman Ruppersberger said. “I am deeply concerned that we have not yet gotten any commitments that Marylanders with preexisting conditions will continue to access affordable care, or that the Marylanders who have obtained insurance under Obamacare won’t be dropped. I am so concerned about a repeal’s impact on Maryland’s world-class hospitals – which provide thousands of jobs in our communities.”

“The Affordable Care Act benefits hundreds of thousands of Marylanders and millions of people across the country,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “It’s making our health care system stronger, and the Republican plan to repeal it would be a devastating mistake. My Democratic colleagues and I stand united in fighting back against any attempt to take coverage away from the millions of Americans who depend on the ACA.”

“Repealing the Affordable Care Act will be disastrous for Maryland and the country,” said Congressman Delaney. “When you walk through the potential impacts of what could happen it becomes truly alarming: hundreds of thousands of people losing care and coverage, hundreds of thousands more seeing the extent and quality of their coverage decline and increased costs for those on individual or employer based plans. This is the message we’ve received from experts and people in health care and it is very clear. I thank Senator Cardin for arranging this very informative briefing and for the experts who participated – it is clear that repealing the Affordable Care Act will be very bad for Maryland.”  

“The Affordable Care Act is making a huge impact in the lives of Marylanders including the families in the Fourth District,” Congressman Brown said. “It has helped hundreds of thousands uninsured individuals obtain coverage, banned insurers from denying coverage to those with pre-existing conditions or from charging women more than men. The Republican plan for repeal would have dramatic fiscal impacts - costing the State nearly $2 billion in Medicaid funding, and jeopardizing $2.3 billion in payments for Maryland hospitals. I am deeply concerned that Congressional Republicans and the Trump Administration's insistence for giving state's 'flexibility' with Medicaid will lead to draconian cuts to critical health care for our working poor, children, seniors and Marylanders with disabilities.”

“Hundreds of thousands of Marylanders have obtained access to health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act,” said Congressman Raskin. “Repealing the ACA would be a true catastrophe for health care in our state and across the country.”