As we gear up to celebrate the 4th of July, it’s a good time to remind ourselves of the values that make America special. One of our core principles is the right of free expression and the right to petition our government. This is a moment when it is more important than ever for citizens to use the power of their voices to be heard in the halls of Congress on a range of vital issues, especially the future of health care in America.

We should be working to improve our health care system, not take a U-turn backwards. Americans have been speaking up across Maryland and the nation to let their Senators and Representatives know that they don’t want to dismantle our health care system and hurt vulnerable Americans in order to give tax cuts to the ultra-wealthy. As a result of those grassroots efforts, Americans have succeeded in delaying a vote on the dangerous Senate Republican “Wealth Care" bill.

But as Yogi Berra once said, “It ain’t over till it’s over.” Now is the time to redouble our efforts to stop this immoral bill and work together to improve our health care system, like reducing the costs of prescription drugs.

This week Americans will have a chance to see their Senators and Representatives at parades, picnics, and barbecues. It is my hope that, after talking with their constituents, every Member of Congress will come back to Washington ready to work on a bipartisan basis to improve our health care system. Americans want to make health care accessible and affordable to more people – not fewer.

Over the last few weeks I’ve heard powerful stories from Marylanders about how the Affordable Care Act has helped save their lives or those of their loved ones. In the last week, I have received over 6,000 calls and emails from Marylanders opposed to the Senate Republican plan that would leave 22 million more Americans without insurance and harm children, working families, and seniors all across Maryland – all to give the very wealthy a windfall take break.

I’m thankful for every single Marylander, regardless of their views, who has reached out to tell their story and express their opinion about health care and many other issues. As we celebrate our freedom this 4th of July, your voices are more important than ever – and they are truly having an impact.

Have a safe and happy 4th of July. 

Chris Van Hollen
United States Senator


Rallying for Health Care in Bowie

Thank you to the more than 500 Marylanders who came out to our Health Care Forum at the Greater Mt. Nebo AME Church in Bowie last weekend. With the help of the Collective Empowerment Group, faith leaders, and experts like Baltimore’s Health Commissioner, Dr. Leana Wen, we discussed the moral imperative to provide quality, affordable health care to all Americans and offered community members wellness and insurance enrollment resources.

Fighting for Jobs Across Maryland

As member of the Appropriations Committee, I recently joined a group of Senators representing six states voicing support to fully fund the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). ARC supports job-creating community projects across the 13 Appalachian states. It has funded many projects that create jobs and economic opportunity in Western Maryland, including recent grants for STEM education at Allegany Collegebusiness infrastructure in Garrett Countyand water infrastructure in Boonsboro. ARC is a great example of a state-federal partnership that fosters economic opportunity in areas that need it the most – but President Trump’s budget completely eliminates the program. I will fight that effort tooth and nail to protect jobs and economic growth in Maryland.

Serving Marylanders – Offices Open Throughout Our State

I’m pleased to announce the grand opening of our Baltimore Regional Office, our hub for community outreach and constituent services in the Baltimore region. The Baltimore office and our offices throughout the state are a resource for Marylanders to seek help with any constituent issues they make have, whether it involves assistance with Social Security, veterans care, Medicare coverage, or many other matters.

In addition to the Baltimore office, we have offices open throughout the state in Hagerstown, Annapolis, and Rockville, and offices will be opening soon in Cambridge and Largo. Full contact information for all office locations is below.

No Marylander’s issue or concern is too small. And if it’s a matter we can't solve by ourselves, we will reach out to our partners in the non-profit or private sector, as well as those at all levels of government: federal, state and local. Even when the Congress seems to be gridlocked, our work in the community continues. My team and I will always be there to listen and assist.