Annapolis, Md. - Just two months ago, Governor Larry Hogan extolled the benefits of federal support for health care coverage for Marylanders.
But since the Trump inauguration, Hogan has been dodging questions about how the repeal of the Affordable Care Act will dismantle Maryland’s health care system.
"Marylanders are facing a state of emergency as Republicans vote Thursday to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Governor Larry Hogan can't have it both ways. He needs to oppose any effort to dismantle Maryland’s health care system and take away healthcare from hundreds of thousands of hardworking Maryland families,” said Maryland Democratic Party spokesperson Bryan Lesswing.
On Monday, members of the Maryland congressional delegation, Congressmen Hoyer, Cummings, Sarbanes and Raskin, called on Hogan in Annapolis to join them in opposing the Republican health care plan. Hogan refused and said they were “grandstanding.”
Marylanders aren’t buying Hogan’s posturing. A Washington Post-University of Maryland poll released today shows that support for Hogan’s re-election is waning.
Below is a point-by-point rundown of how Hogan is trying to have it both ways on health care:
Hogan: “We look forward to a state-federal partnership that ensures a competitive market to deliver real choice, high quality and affordable health coverage.”
The reality is that Marylanders' premiums will rise:
- The average cost increase for a Maryland resident under the Republican repeal bill would be $3,456 according the Center for American Progress.
- Affordable options would be even more limited for aging Americans, particularly those in the 50-64 age range, as a result of the “age tax.” Under the bill, insurers could charge this population up to five times as much as a younger person for the same plan.
Hogan: “Maryland continues to be a leader in health care coverage with nearly 94 percent of our residents insured… More than 150,000 Marylanders currently receive coverage through Qualified Health Plans in the individual market.”
The reality is that Marylanders will lose coverage:
- A total of 313,000 Marylanders would lose coverage over the next decade under the Republican ACA repeal bill, nearly half of whom currently receive coverage through their employer.
Hogan: “The state has undertaken efforts to allow more Marylanders to age-in-place by implementing programs like the Community First Choice.”
The reality is that people with disabilities will be hurt:
- The Republican repeal bill eliminates the Community First Choice program, including $12 billion in funding for community-based services for people with disabilities.
Hogan: “Maryland is home to the highest performing Medicaid Managed Care Organization in the country.”
The reality is that Medicaid in Maryland will be weakened:
- Under the Republican bill, 14 million people will lose Medicaid coverage over a decade, according to a report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
- Jeff Myers, chief executive officer of Medicaid Health Plans of America, which represents Medicaid managed care providers in Maryland and across the country, said of the Republican bill: “It does call into question whether those services can be provided or whether states are going to see massive disruption.”
Hogan: “A key to Maryland’s success is our unique All Payer Hospital Model…”
The reality is that the future of Maryland's All Payer Model is threatened:
- In testimony before Members of Congress, Dr. Samuel Ross, CEO of Baltimore Bon Secours Health System, stated: “Maryland operates a unique all-payer system so changes in federal policy affect us differently than other states. Nevertheless, the unprecedented cuts to Medicaid through the rollback of enhanced federal matching for Medicaid expansion and the long-term cuts under per capita caps will have an overwhelming impact on Maryland’s finances and its Medicaid program.”
Hogan: “Maryland has a history of leveraging federal dollars for innovative and efficient health care solutions.”
The reality is that Maryland's budget will feel the brunt of costs:
- Maryland’s Department of Legislative Affairs found that federal dollars would be in short supply under the Republican plan to repeal the ACA.
- If the Medicaid expansion was repealed, the net cost to Maryland will be $1.27 billion in fiscal 2018, rising to $1.5 billion in fiscal 2022.
Hogan: “Additional flexibility and continued federal partnership will allow Maryland and other states to continue to improve access to high quality coverage.”
The reality is that other Republican governors are standing up to Trump:
- According to a letter from five GOP governors expressing opposition to the Republican ACA repeal bill in a letter, “It provides almost no new flexibility for states, does not ensure the resources necessary to make sure no one is left out, and shifts significant new costs to states.”