Recent Posts

Archive for the ‘Healthcare Exchange’ Category

Larry Hogan to Face Anthony Brown: Hogan Comes Out Swinging

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Larry Hogan won the Maryland Republican Party’s nomination for Governor last night. Anthony Brown also secured his party’s nomination for Governor on the Democratic side. And as the digital ink is barely dry on the primary ballots, the Hogan Rutherford team has already come out swinging in a stinging new YouTube ad.

Governor O’Malley put his Lt. Governor in charge of Maryland’s rollout of the Affordable Care Act. Unfortunately after spending anywhere from $125-175 Million on the website, they decided that it wasn’t fixable and the scrapped it. This new ad puts Brown on blast for his failure of leadership over this massive waste of Maryland taxpayer dollars.

Outlook: Maryland General Assembly’s 90 Day 2014 Session

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

The Maryland General Assembly reports to work today to start off a 90 day legislative session for 2014. Democratic leaders are hoping to raise the minimum wage, legalize marijuana, and spend more money on school construction and other projects. Republican leaders are hoping to cut taxes, including the highly controversial “Rain Tax”, and will also take major issue with Maryland’s fumbled Healthcare Exchange and website. Below are some expanded highlights of what we can expect in the upcoming session.

Minimum Wage
Currently the minimum wage in Maryland is $7.25. There have been some proposals to raise it over $10 per hour. Gov. Martin O’Malley, House Speaker Michael E. Busch and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller have all stated that they would like to make this a priority for this year. Despite Republican opposition this will be likely to pass, the question is will it effect the whole state, and how much will it go up.

Rain Tax
There are possible changes to the “Rain Tax” storm water management fees in this session. Republicans plan to bring this issue to light given angry backlash from in some parts of Maryland. Republicans will likely call for a full repeal. Most likely there will only be small tweaks to the law, and they will likely only help non-profits. Will the citizens in the most effected counties make this a big issue for the Democrats?

There is already a sort of moratorium on “fracking” in Maryland, which is the process of using hydraulics to fracture the ground deep below the surface to mine for natural gas. Governor O’Malley already has ordered an environmental study of the relatively new technique. Pennsylvania and other nearby states are already working hard on fracking, but environmental groups are expected to try to get legislation passed barring fracking in this state.

Legalizing Pot
Senate President Miller is likely to support marijuana legislation to keep up with Colorado and Washington’s new legalization. Hopefully they will follow House Speaker Busch’s suggestion to wait and see how the new laws effect Colorado and Washington.

Early Education
From the campaign trail, Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown has been pushing for pre-Kindergarten in Maryland. You can expect to see some legislation toward creating a pre-K program that may be voluntary and would be half day.

Other Issues
The Baltimore Sun is reporting that the Assembly may also debate increased school new construction and building a new jail in Baltimore to replace the current scandal plague detention center.

Problems Still Plague Maryland’s Healthcare Exchange Website

Friday, December 13th, 2013

For several weeks Governor Martin O’Malley’s administration hasn’t been ready to address the public on Maryland’s beleaguered healthcare exchange website. This week we were treated to not one but two press conferences, the first by Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, and yesterday by Governor O’Malley. O’Malley tried to put a positive spin on the problems by saying “Bottom line. We’ve made progress.”

The state has installed new leadership over the health care exchange after the Executive Director Rebecca Pierce resigned December 6th. O’Malley acknowledged that while 6 of the 9 identified “glitches” in the website exchange were resolved, 3 issues remained unresolved. O’Malley was not able to give a timeline as to when these problems could be overcome. The remaining issues include frozen screens and incorrect tax credit amounts being displayed.

O’Malley said that just under 22,000 people had enrolled in either private insurance or Medicaid through the Maryland Health Connection, which is about 7,000 more than 2 weeks ago. Maryland’s goal is by March 1st to have 260,000 people enrolled in health plans through the website. The goal is to have 150,000 people in private plans and 110,000 people to Medicaid. As of now they have about 5,200 enrolled in private plans and 16,000 in Medicaid. So the website is currently enrolling 3,500 people per week, and with 11 weeks until the March 1st deadline, they will need to boost those numbers up to about 22,000 people per week.

Also of note is that O’Malley hopes to enroll more people into private plans than into Medicaid. But right now Medicaid signups are trumping private signups by a 3 to 1 margin.

The Capital Gazette is reporting that the state has spent about $70 Million of the budgeted $107 Million for the exchange.

Baltimore Business Journal
Capital Gazette

2016 Elections

Primary - 4/5/2016
General - 11/8/2016

Races to Watch

U.S. Senate

Barbara Mikulski (D) is retiring.

Top (D) Candidates
Donna Edwards
Chris Van Hollen

All 8 House Seats are up for election.

Current Representatives
1st - Andy Harris (R)

2nd - Dutch Reppersberger (D)

3rd - John Sarbanes (D)
Top candidates Dr. Mark Plaster (R).

4th - Donna Edwards (D) - running for Senate
Top candidates Anthony Brown (D), Glenn Ivey (D), George McDermott (?)

5th - Steny Hoyer (D)

6th - John Delaney (D) - may run for Senate
Top (R) candidates David Vogt (R), Kathy Afzali (R), Neil Parrott (R), Mike McKay (R).

7th - Elijah Cummings (D) - may run for Senate
Top candidates Calvin Ball (D), Corrogan Vaughn (R).

8th - Chris Van Hollen (D) - running for Senate
Top (D) candidates Kumar Barve, Valerie Ervin, Kathleen Mattews, Jamie Raskin
Top (R) candidates Frank Howard - potential