For at least one state, implementing health reform is starting to appear easier said than done. The Daily Record
, a Baltimore legal newspaper, reports, "Maryland's new Health Care Reform Coordinating Council held its first meeting last week, resolving to find the best way to implement provisions of the landmark federal health care overhaul. The state faces big challenges in putting the controversial law in place, though. Issues lie not only in understanding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed by President Barack Obama in March, but also in the lack of guidance from the federal government on what the state should do." John Folkemer, a senior Maryland health official, said, "A lot of things aren't very specific in the law" (5/9). The Chatham (N.C.) Journal
: Consumers, at least, have a new resource at their disposal. "With health reform now the law of the land, Consumer Reports Health
lays out next steps for consumers in a variety of situations—those who are currently insured; Medicare and Medicaid recipients; people with pre-existing conditions; parents of children with pre-existing conditions; parents of uninsured young adults; and people who develop serious illnesses" (5/8). The Richmond Times Dispatch
: Seniors are among those who may experience significant changes. "If you're one of the 27 million U.S. seniors who has a Medicare (Part D) prescription-drug plan, health-care reform has just upgraded your coverage. Seniors who fall into the coverage gap known as the doughnut hole will get a $250 rebate to help pay for their medications this year, and a 50 percent discount on brand-name drugs next year. By 2020, the coverage gap will be eliminated. That means that seniors who now pay 100 percent of their drug costs once they're in the doughnut hole will pay 25 percent" (5/9).