According to the Washington Post, public health advocates in Maryland unveiled a $15.5 billion plan for universal health care. The plan would subsidize insurance coverage for low-income residents with a payroll tax and increases to cigarette and alcohol taxes.
The plan would also allow small businesses and individuals to join an insurance pool, giving them leverage to negotiate lower rates for policies than on their own. The state of Maryland itself would cover the costs of catastrophic care and patients would face higher co-payments for less effective and more expensive procedures.
Lawmakers and advocates both acknowledge that the plan has no chance for passage soon, but hope that this is a step towards future health care reform.