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County Executive Ball Statement on Veto Override for Prescription Drug Affordability Board

February 11, 2021

Media Contact: 

Scott Peterson, Director of Communications, Office of Public Information, 202-277-9412 

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Calvin Ball released the following statement on the Maryland House of Delegates joining the Senate in overriding the Governor's veto of critical legislation passed in 2020 to fund the Prescription Drug Affordability Board. With a 95-38 vote, the Board is now guaranteed a permanent funding source to ensure it can perform its important work. 

“People shouldn’t have to choose between paying for their medication or paying for food,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. “We need new strategies to make drug costs more affordable for Marylanders, and the drug board is the right venue to make that happen. This issue has only become more urgent, with the immediate and long-term impacts of COVID-19 on our resident’s health, and the subsequent loss of jobs and income due to this ongoing pandemic. Now with an established funding source, the Board can get to work on the vital and urgent work to lower the costs of prescription drugs for our community.”

“We’re very grateful to the members of the Senate and House of Delegates, my fellow County Executives, Baltimore’s Mayor and Members our Howard County Delegation who supported the overturning of the veto," Ball continued. “This would not have been possible without the tireless advocacy of Vinny DeMarco and the Maryland Citizen’s Health Initiative, the AARP and the many many residents who shared their impactful stories.”  

County Executive Ball has been an adamant supporter of the Maryland Prescription Drug Affordability Board, joining fellow Maryland leaders and the Maryland Citizen’s Health Initiative in advocating for its full funding. Additionally, Howard County hosted one of the first townhall meetings for Maryland’s Prescription Drug Affordability Board last year. 

“The Maryland Health Care For All! Coalition thanks Howard County Executive Calvin Ball for his critical leadership in making sure that Maryland’s landmark Prescription Drug Affordability Board has the resources it needs to make high cost drugs more affordable for Marylanders,” said Vinny DeMarco, President of Maryland Citizen’s Healthcare Initiative.

 “We thank County Executive Ball for his support on this critical measure,” said Hank Greenberg, AARP Maryland State Director. “Over time, this Board will play a key role in bringing down drug costs for average Marylanders. We are the first state to create this kind of board, but interest is soaring nationally, and advocates and legislators in over a dozen states have reached out seeking our help in developing something similar.”