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Federal Government Grants Md. $65M For Affordable Health Care

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Pat Warren joined the Eyewitness News team in 1992. Pat came to WJZ...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—A healthier way of living leads to a healthy government grant. Maryland wins a $65 million federal grant.

As political reporter Pat Warren explains, it represents another step forward for Maryland’s uninsured.

The tragedies of the uninsured. Deamonte Driver died from infection caused by tooth decay.

“And by the time I got there he was already gone,” said Elise Driver.

“Elijah Cummings and I authored and worked to make sure every child in this country has access to dental care, that was in the Affordable Care Act arising out of the tragic death of Deamonte Driver,” said Sen. Ben Cardin.

Pam Wilkerson was faced with a potentially fatal decision.

“There was an emergency with my son, who was a football player, and he had taken a couple of  real hard knocks to the head, but for a split second I considered not taking him to the hospital because we didn’t have health insurance,” Wilkerson said.

“There’s nothing more important that I have done than voting for this bill, for the Affordable Care Act,”  said Rep. Elijah Cummings.

Now, another Maryland milestone announced at Stadium Place in Baltimore on Friday: $65 million federal money for a health care co-op modeled on Howard County.

“We’ll be able to say ‘I’m part of ownership of what I’m in. It’s a co-op. The cost savings come right back to me,’” said Sen.  Cardin.

“There are 20 other co-ops that have been funded in other states. I think we’re the 21st state, but this will be Maryland wide,” Dr. Peter Beilenson, Howard County health commissioner.

Marylanders will join the co-op at a lower cost, and benefit from getting all their health services on a sort of one-stop shopping basis.

Some of the residents at Stadium Place may very well take part in the co-op, as Howard County becomes a model for Maryland and Maryland a model for the country.

It will be at least a year before the co-op is up and running.

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