The Healthcare Huddle is open to anyone who is dedicated to obtaining quality, affordable healthcare for all Marylanders. We hold monthly meetings, partner with other health focused organizations, and advocate for legislation on the state and county level. We promote values and rights that foster inclusivity, fairness, safety, affordability, and equal access to healthcare in our communities. We vow to turn our collective energy into action and advocate on a range of issues, particularly those that pertain to overall health and wellness in all aspects of our communities including our families and ourselves. You can visit our Facebook page, attend an upcoming meeting, and follow our posts on this page. Please join us and make your voice heard, email for more information.

2020 Priority Legislation for Healthcare Huddle

  1. Time to Care Act – Legislation establishing a Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program would make paid leave available to Maryland workers for up to 12 weeks following the birth or adoption of a child and when needed to provide care for a family member or oneself. The leave would be funded through an insurance pool, into which workers and their employers contribute.
  2. End of Life Option – Authorizing an individual to request aid in dying by making specified requests; prohibiting another individual from requesting aid in dying on behalf of an individual; requiring a written request for aid in dying to meet specified requirements; establishing specified requirements for witnesses to a written request for aid in dying; requiring a written request for aid in dying to be in a specified form; etc.
  3. IMPROVE ACCESS TO AND COORDINATION OF QUALITY COMMUNITY BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SERVICES – Marylanders with commercial insurance still struggle to access timely in-network behavioral health care, and many Medicaid consumers are unable to take advantage of everything our nationally recognized public behavioral health system has to offer, including integrated models like certified community behavioral health clinics (CCBHC). The Behavioral Health Coalition’s 2020 platform addresses these challenges through: 1. Systemwide implementation of measurement-based care and value-based purchasing; strengthening accountability within local system management and the provider network; and ensuring integration of non-Medicaid services and systems such as housing, education, criminal justice and non-Medicaid health services in the Public Behavioral Health System. 2. Parity legislation to include consumer payment protections for out of network care, parity compliance and data reporting.
  4. Ban Flavored Vaping Products in Maryland – Sen. Clarence K. Lam (D-Howard), the Senate’s only physician, submitted emergency legislation for drafting that would prohibit the sale of vaping products designed to taste like mint, candy, fruit, or other non-tobacco flavors. A bill to do the same will also be introduced in the House of Delegates as House Bill 3, a top priority, according to the office of Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (D-Baltimore County). That measure will be introduced by Economic Matters Chairman Dereck E. Davis (D-Prince George’s), who requested a bill to be drafted this summer. This bill is co-sponsored by Senate Finance Committee Chairwoman Delores G. Kelley (D-Baltimore County).
  5. The Patient’s Access to Integrative Health Care Act of 2020 – Would allow physicians and other health care professionals to use integrative diagnostic tests and treatment methods when they feel it is in the best interest of their patients as long as they fully disclose to the patient that the diagnostic test or treatment is an integrative approach and provide informed consent, and the treatment poses no greater risk than conventional medicine not outweighed by the potential benefits. This important legislation will be introduced before the next term of the Maryland Assembly and would allow each patient the right to determine which treatment is best for him or her! Such a choice is a patient’s right! It is his or her human right!
  6. INCREASE SCHOOL BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SUPPORTS TO IMPROVE STUDENT OUTCOMES – The Kirwan Commission issued a report in January 2019 that included a comprehensive set of strategies for enhancing school-based behavioral health services, which have been shown to improve student health and educational outcomes. In addressing the full range of Kirwan recommendations, the legislature must prioritize the adoption of, and ensure adequate funding for, those related to school behavioral health.
  7. EXPAND ACCESS TO CRISIS RESPONSE SERVICES, OVERDOSE AND SUICIDE PREVENTION EFFORTS – An inability to access quality mental health and substance use disorder services in the community is forcing more Marylanders into costly emergency departments or discouraging them from seeking care at all. This crisis in access is tied to an exponential increase in the number of Marylanders lost to suicide, unintentional overdose and other preventable deaths. We must prioritize the development of a statewide comprehensive crisis response system and increase the availability of harm reduction interventions.
  8. Maryland Medical Debt Protection Act – Delegate Robbyn Lewis is sponsor for this bill. Charity hospitals are pursuing and suing people for debts who are eligible for reduced cost or free care. Hospitals in MD filed over 140,000 lawsuits last year to get medical debt owed from patients; $240M from people who qualified for reduced price or free care. Cannot foreclose on someone’s home because they got sick and went to the hospital, Payment plans for healthcare debt should be enacted and created in such a way that people can afford to pay them back, Create payment plans, People are being pursued for medical debt that places them below poverty lines; protect low-income people from wage.
  9. Implicit Bias Training for All Physicians and Healthcare Workers -To help stem maternal mortality rates amongst African American women and minority women. Bill sponsored by Delegate Pena-Melnyk.
  10. Pregnant and parenting students face unique barriers to education: limited enrollment, being pushed out of school for absences due to medical or legal issues, limited or no childcare options, little support towards completion of schoolwork and graduation requirements, and general lack of accommodations for pregnant and parenting students on school grounds. As a result of these challenges, pregnant and parenting students find themselves unable to finish their education and are pushed out.
Rally THIS Saturday in Annapolis at 11 for mental health awareness, funding and reducing the stigma – Our Minds Matter!
More info here: Following Rally, there will be a workshop from 1-2. More info here:
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Talk Saves Lives 4/24/19 6-8pm at AACC. Please join us, please share.
Please join us and please share! Link to Facebook event here
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Maryland is poised to become the first in the nation to create a Prescription Drug Affordability Board! Contact your Senator
Maryland is poised to become the first in the nation to create a Prescription Drug Affordability Board! An overwhelming majority
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House Committee Approves Legislation to Create a Prescription Drug Affordability Board
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 25, 2019 Contact: Vincent DeMarco, 410-591-9162 House Committee Approves Legislation to Create a Prescription Drug Affordability
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Please call or write to support the Prescription Drug Affordability Board (SB759) with the upper payment limits intact.
Please contact members of the Senate Finance Committee listed below ASAP and ask them to support upper payment limits in
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Md. Citizens’ Health Initiative to Launch Major Ad Campaign to Support
March 6, 2019 Contact: Vincent DeMarco, 410-591-9162 Md. Citizens’ Health Initiative to Launch Major Ad Campaign to Support Prescription Drug
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Urgent need: calls and emails to support End of Life Options Act
WE NEED Calls and Emails TODAY! End of Life Options Act (HB 399) Received info this evening that a coordinated statewide
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New Legislation Aimed at Lowering Costs of Prescription Medicine
A new bill, SB759 and HB768, that would establish a Prescription Drug Affordability Board is aimed at lowering the cost
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February 14th Is Prescription Drug Affordability Advocacy Day! Please join us!
The Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative is hosting a Prescription Drug Affordability Advocacy Day this Thursday, February 14th from 10am-1:00pm,  in
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