Jordan Cooper will be an outstanding Delegate in Annapolis. He is positioned, by experience, to be a leader in the critical work of reducing health care costs and improving the quality of healthcare in Maryland."
Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs,
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, '10 - '12
Director, Communications, Education, and Outreach,
D.C. Health Insurance Exchange, '13 - Present
Advancing Affordable, Accessible, and Quality HealthcareMaryland is at a crossroads, and as a legislator, my top priority is getting healthcare right. As our nation emerges from this Great Recession, our state is afforded the unique opportunity to implement the Affordable Care Act (affectionately known as “ObamaCare”) the right way from the get-go. The nation’s eyes are upon Maryland as an early implementer of healthcare reform. Our actions over the coming years will affect not only the health and well-being of our population and our economy, but will set a national example for how to achieve low cost, high quality healthcare.
Healthcare is the single greatest driver of both the Federal and Maryland budgets, accounting for the greatest percentage of government spending when compared to any other sector of the economy. Our budgets, and indeed our very lives, depend upon the delivery of high value care in Maryland. As such, healthcare reform must be executed by trained, knowledgeable, and experienced legislators who are ready to hit the ground running. I have contributed to the implementation of the ACA at the federal level, have training from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and have worked on health policy in the Maryland General Assembly. With this background, I am uniquely positioned to help Maryland meet the challenges of implementing healthcare reform over the coming decade.
Maryland is an early implementer of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka, Health Care Reform), and we only have one chance to get this right the first time. We must ensure that our health policy leaders in Annapolis have the experience and training to usher in the transition from volume to value in healthcare.
Regardless of your health insurance status, there is much at stake as Maryland implements the ACA. We must strive to reduce rates of hospital-acquired infections, which afflict patients irrespective of their insurance coverage. We must align financial incentives to reward physicians for providing appropriate levels of care. The current Fee for Service model of reimbursement has, perversely, incentivized the systemic overuse of diagnostics and therapeutic treatments. There is much work to be done, and with your help in the Democratic Primary Election on June 24, 2014, I’ll work with our political leadership to advance the cause of high value health care reform.
Legislative Action Items:
- Ensure that the Maryland Health Benefits Exchange (HIX) publicly
reports cost AND quality data in addition to a consumer-friendly
aggregate value indicator (e.g. 5 star evaluation).
- Require Essential Health Benefits in the HIX marketplace to include
mental, dental, and long-term care benefits, and explore financial
mechanisms to fund these mandates.
- Require Qualified Health Plans in the HIX marketplace to meet cost and quality criteria.
- Explore the potential effects of increasing the employer penalty for ‘dumping’ employees into the individual HIX marketplace.
- Authorize the State to use its purchasing power to drive down
prescription drug prices for Medicaid beneficiaries and State employees,
thereby bending the health care cost-curve and making Maryland's budget
growth more sustainable.
- Extend the Health Services and Cost Review Commission's All Payer
Single Rate Setting authority to all ambulatory and outpatient settings
so as to realize the proven cost-saving and disparity-reducing benefits
that have been found in the inpatient setting.
- Explore the potential of offering a public insurance option in the HIX.
- Promote the Meaningful Use of interoperable Health Information
Technology Electronic Health Records in the Health Information Exchange
- Standardize insurance forms and health care services pricing,
creating a transparent chargemaster list, and regulate cost-sharing
variability within health insurance plans.
- Introduce tort reform measures that limit non-economic damages and begin to address defensive medicine practices by tying a physician's adherence to established medical best-practices guidelines to his liability under law.
I support Jordan Cooper in his bid for the House of Delegates because he has a humane view of public health and the importance of the government in promoting the general welfare."
Candidate for the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine,
Pioneer in Investigating Autoimmune Disease,
Elected Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Sciences '99,
Recipient, Nicolaus Copernicus Medal, Polish Academy of Sciences '99,
Director and Founder, Johns Hopkins Autoimmune Disease Research Center