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GOP Says Maryland Moving Too Fast On Health Reform

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland Republicans criticized Gov. Martin O’Malley’s administration on Thursday for moving too quickly to implement federal health care reform that could be changed or stopped in federal court cases.

Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, who is leading the Democratic administration’s effort to implement health care reform, said he is committed to making Maryland a national model for implementing the federal law, and he criticized Republicans he said have “chosen to put politics ahead of our neighbors’ health.”

Maryland House Republican Caucus members discussed proposals of their own at a news conference, where they said Maryland Democrats are going too far, too soon.

“It is absolutely critical that consideration be given to alternative options, and legislation isn’t simply hurried through the process in order to gain a political advantage by being the first,” said Delegate Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, R-Talbot.

Delegate Anthony O’Donnell, the Republican House minority leader, said Maryland shouldn’t create bureaucracies and spend money on a program that might not exist a year from now.

“We are way out in front of this in Maryland, and we’re saying slow back. We don’t need to be way out in front,” O’Donnell said.

Republicans highlighted legislation of their own, including a proposal to amend the state’s constitution so residents are not required to buy a particular health care plan. Republicans also want to work on reforms to medical malpractice laws, which they say are causing doctors to leave the state.

The O’Malley administration has been a strong supporter of federal health care reform. Brown outlined legislation this week to put Maryland on the fast-track to implement it.

Maryland currently has between 700,000 and 800,000 uninsured residents, according to state health department estimates. The administration estimates that number will be cut in half by 2020.

Brown is championing legislation this session that would create a structure and framework to develop the insurance exchange required under federal health care reform. These state-based exchanges are pools intended to offer the same kind of purchasing power that employees of big companies benefit from.

Brown also is backing legislation to align Maryland law with consumer protections in the federal law, including provisions that bar exclusions from insurance because of pre-existing conditions. The lieutenant governor also is supporting a measure to create a council to bring public agencies and the private sector together in hopes of improving health care quality and reducing costs.

Maryland has received more than $100 million in federal grants to implement the federal law. That includes a $6.2 million grant to start forming the health exchange. Parts federal health care reform already have been enacted, including a ban on excluding children from coverage because of a pre-existing condition.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

  • Mike

    Maryland wants to be the first State to fully deconstruct what is now a very efficient HealthCare System for most of us. Bravo Democrats. You exceed the limits of your failed expectations in this Federal Government and Union-Owned Liberal Utopia of a State.

  • mike

    That’s it Lt Governor. The GOP are the meanies and playing politics. The Dem fools in this State will feed on that garbage.We all know who has the majority in the State House. Forget the budget…..Let’s just bankrupt this State like the Liberal Politicians in California did…..all for a few Votes. Let’s start earning brownie points (no pun intended) for your 2014 Election Bid.

  • Getitdone

    Go Brown!!!!!!!!! Lead by example. Let the
    Procrastination hold up their stop signs…while they hold up the rest of the world
    for ransom as well. Get that wealth care money into the hands of those who work for it an out of the hands who just profit from it….

    • Mike

      Guard of Procrastination? Too anxious to get your FREE HealthCare at the expense of those who work? Be patient…..your boys OweMalley and Brown will raise my taxes. If it pays for your lebotomy it may be worth it.



  • Bob

    I am continuely proven time and again that our Politburo of elected “representatives” of the Union of Soviet Socialist Counties of Maryland is determined to bankrupt this great state of ours. The voters continue to re elect the same clowns without any thought of the impact that their “do gooder and feel good” laws and regulations impose on all of us with out regard to the fiscal or legal ramifications that they cause.
    Lt. Gov Brown wants to make a name for himself in creating a health care plan that’ll become the [failed] “model” for other states to follow. I suggest that our politicians put their egos and arrogance on the side and let the courts determine if the plan is even Constitutional before planning to spend tax payer money that can be applied for more useful purposes.

    • Mike


      I agree. Unfortunately, this State will need to go broke before the voters wake up and stop electing the same Democrat Clowns.

  • John

    We preach democracy but yet we do not live by democracy. Wake up America you saw what happen in Egypt and now spreading through the Middle East like wild fire. You gave the jobs to overseas and the country is broke. IF WWW III does not start soon in the Middle East be ready for up rise here in the United States if the governments keep going down this path.

    We do not even for our own President, yes you cast a vote but it’s the electoral college that chooses a President. Back in the old days that might have been needed but it’s time for America to truely pick it’s President. Right now “For the People by the People” means nothing.

    Look at the teacher who blog about her work but did not state the place/names etc. Yet her constitutional rights are being taken away.

  • Mike

    There’s are States Attorneys from 26 other States that are challenging the Constitutionality of this HealthCare Bill. They obviously have done their review in preparing to go this route. Hey Lt Governor…Have you read all 2400 pages of the Bill or is this something Democrats feel will simply “pan out”? While over 1/2 the Country wants to either revisit this Bill or Repeal it…..Maryland wants to expedite this and be the first State to self-destruct its healthcare System. Only in Maryland can we continually vote in the same idiots and pray for the Tooth fairy to save us.

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