ANNAPOLIS — Medical professionals across Maryland today applauded the General Assembly for passing the Time to Care Act, which would provide Marylanders with paid family and medical leave insurance. Senate Bill 275, which was passed on March 31st, was vetoed by Governor Larry Hogan, but the veto was overridden and thus the bill enacted. The resulting program will allow employees to take up to 12 weeks of paid leave from their work to care for themselves or family members in the event of a serious health condition or disability, or to care for a new child.
“As a physician, too often I see patients have to make the difficult choice between caring for their health or getting a needed paycheck, and this decision can have serious implications for their health,” said Dr. Henry Farkas, retired Emergency Medicine physician in Pikesville. “Working while sick or injured can worsen health outcomes, but adding the stress of losing a job or income while trying to get well is also detrimental. No Marylander should have to face this situation. We are grateful to the General Assembly for taking this action to help Maryland residents care for themselves and their families without going broke or into debt.”
Earlier this year, over 50 medical professionals from across Maryland signed a letter urging the General Assembly to pass the Time to Care Act. By doing so now, Maryland joins nine other states and the District of Columbia, which already have paid family and medical leave laws.
“The Time to Care Act will help parents care for a new child joining their family, just as doctors recommend,” said Dr. Richard Cook, an internist in Waldorf. “The financial security to take the time needed to bond with a new child, establish breastfeeding, bring the newborn in for medical appointments and for the birthing parent to attend postpartum appointments is essential for the health of both the baby and the parent. Right now, too many Marylanders don’t have the option of taking that time off without missing rent and risking eviction and homelessness, not to mention needing to be able to put food on the table. Paid Family and Medical Leave is an absolutely critical program for the health and well-being of families and communities across the state.”
About the Committee to Protect Health Care
The Committee to Protect Health Care is a national mobilization of doctors, health care professionals, and advocates who are building a pro-patient health care majority in Congress and in states so that we can live in an America where everyone has the health care they need to thrive. To learn more: www.committeetoprotect.org