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As Long as We Remember...

November 26, 2018

Maryland's Obamacare Fix

Jason Miller

This past March, many conservatives were flabbergasted when some Republican legislators in Annapolis went along with a so called bipartisan plan fix to Obamacare in Maryland.


It was maddening to see the same Republicans, who were once foaming at the mouth Obamacare critics, line up with Democrats to fawn over the Hogan "reinsurance" initiative.


The governor said in a press conference that it would fix the system at no additional costs to Marylander taxpayers. The politicians rejoiced as many true conservatives looked on with skepticism while waiting for the other shoe to drop.


How? Gov. Larry Hogan worked with Democrat Del. Joseline A. Pena-Melnyk and Sen. Brian Feldman on a fiscal slight of hand. The state of Maryland established premium tax, in that had previously been collected by the federal government but had been suspended for one year under President Donald Trump. Governor Hogan agreed to impose a new tax for one year in Maryland to allow the state an opportunity to cash in on a federal tax cut.


That new tax was estimated to generate over $365 million to fund the reinsurance program for two years, but, after that, there are no guarantees. Now that other shoe is about to drop and crush Maryland taxpayers in a bipartisan fleecing seldom seen at a state level.


Governor Hogan's bipartisan "reinsurance" co-conspirators have teamed up with progressive special interest groups to help themselves if all goes right in this upcoming legislative session. Senator Feldman (D., Montgomery) and Delegate Peña-Melnyk (D., Prince George’s) are prepared to introduce legislation in January that would re-establish fines for anyone who doesn’t have health coverage in Maryland.


These two progressive geniuses say they want to raise money for Marylanders without insurance. In reality it's because the healthcare fix didn't fix anything at all. It was a temporary solution to a symptom stemming from a larger problem.


The fines these two are proposing mirror the former Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Get out your checkbook because you might be paying $700 for individuals and $2,100 for a family in the near future. One can see how that one year "reinsurance" tax wasn't feasible in reality to quench Annapolis's thirst for revenue. Go figure.


Governor Hogan's bipartisan fix to Maryland's Obamacare problem had a shelf life that every politician in Annapolis knew about. The cost-neutral aspect of the fix was a ticking time bomb from the moment it was unveiled.


One can guess it gets much easier for a politician to ignore the fiscal math when you’re running for re-election. We'll see if the Democrats get it passed. If you’re a conservative, pray that divine intervention – or something – prevents it from getting through committee.


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