BCC Breakfast Club Candidate Forum

Good morning, I’m Jordan Cooper, I was born and raised right here in Bethesda, and I’m running to represent you in the Maryland House of Delegates.

I’m running because there’s an issue going in our state that no one is talking about and it’s hitting the pocketbooks of every person in this room. I’m talking about the drastic rise of health insurance premiums.

Increasing Premiums
Over the past four years premiums have increased about 50% on average in Maryland for CareFirst plans and deductibles have been increasing 150% on average throughout the state. We need to do better than that and we can do better.

Government Inaction
Unfortunately our governor and our legislature haven’t been controlling these cost increases that are hitting each and every one of us in our pocketbooks. We’re all paying for it. I’m sure many of you in this room have experienced some sort of increase in their healthcare costs. I have heard many stories from our neighbors in Bethesda who have seen their health insurance premiums increase by hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars per month. I know that it’s hitting my family and chances are it’s hitting your family and the families of everyone you know.

State Could Control Costs
Our healthcare premiums are not increasing due to market forces; we could be controlling these out of control healthcare cost increases because in Maryland the state controls healthcare prices.

We Matter
We can do something about this. We are the most well educated and powerful constituency in the state of Maryland. We are the main source of tax revenue for our state and those dollars go a long way in Annapolis. Our voices will be heard if we send a healthcare policy expert to the Maryland House of Delegates to demand change.

Healthcare Expert
I have worked at Johns Hopkins, Kaiser Permanente, and DC Medicaid. I have worked on health policy in the Maryland House of Delegates for two years. And I have a master’s degree in health policy from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Send me to Annapolis and I’ll work to cut your health insurance premiums in half.

Healthcare is Complicated
Healthcare is complicated. I know. But complicated or not, at the end of the day we’re being stuck with an ever-increasing bill and the crazy thing is that we can cut it in half. There’s no need to continue overpaying for our health insurance premiums.

We Pay for Everyone’s ER Visits
Every time an uninsured individual comes into the ER in Baltimore City (and there were 1.8 million ER visits in Maryland last year) the State raises the prices for everything else in that hospital. As a result CareFirst increases its premiums for everyone else throughout the state, including us in Bethesda.

Hospitals and Insurance Companies are Profiting at Our Expense
And guess how much corporate income taxes these same hospitals and health insurance companies pay? Zero. They’re tax exempt in exchange for providing care to the uninsured, which they then in turn use as an excuse to increase their prices and our premiums.

We’re already paying for our uninsured through the ER in the most inefficient and expensive way possible. We need to cover our uninsured through a public option that will begin by requiring 500,000 public employees to obtain a basic healthcare plan in one large risk pool that we’ll use to gain economies of scale and to negotiate down drug and medical device prices. We need to expand our price setting authority from the hospital to the doctor’s clinic. And we need to think if hospitals and health insurance companies that compensate their executives with multi-million dollar salaries really need to continue to be tax exempt.

No One is Talking About This
No one is talking about these hits that we’re taking to our pocketbook; not our governor and not our legislators. And by the way, did you know that one third of our legislators weren’t even elected- they were appointed- and that perpetuates the problem.

Make Our Voices Heard
We need to make our voices heard, we need to do it with this election, and we need to do it with my campaign. Send me to the House to cut your health insurance premiums in half.

Thank you.