Advocates seek universal primary care system for residents of Prince George’s Co. without health insurance

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Prince George County has the largest number of uninsured people in Maryland, around 10.3% of the population, and a new coalition is aiming to change that.

What a universal primary care program might look like. Cathryn Paul from CASA explains

Prince George County has the largest number of uninsured people in Maryland, around 10.3% of the population, and a new coalition is aiming to change that.

The Care For All Coalition includes advocacy groups, such as Prince George’s County NAACP; some local health clinics and providers; and unions such as 1199SEIU. They are working together to find a way to achieve a universal primary care system that would include the uninsured in Prince George County.

“What we’re doing now is meeting with lawmakers, letting them know what we’re hearing on the ground from members of our community,” said Cathryn Paul, head of government relations and public policy at the community organization CASA.

Paul said the pandemic has brought to light the disparities faced by communities of color, people who entered the country illegally and immigrant communities. About 1 in 3 Georgian Latino Prince was uninsured before the pandemic.

“We are literally losing members of the community because of the lack of access to care,” said Paul. “People shouldn’t have to choose between life and death because of the color of their skin, because of their immigration status.”

During the campaign to launch the coalition, Prince George County Council member Deni Taveras (District 2) called on those gathered to keep the faith.

“Because we’re going to engage in this conversation. And I’m very confident that we’ll have the support we need to get this out, ”Taveras said.

If a draft proposal is presented soon, Paul hopes that by the council’s end of summer recess, a bill could be ready and presented by September at the latest.

“There isn’t a board member who doesn’t believe in providing primary care to every resident of Prince George,” said Paul.

Watch the kickoff below.

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