Last night, I wrote about Delegate James Hubbard, who is attempting to expand the Wal-Mart bill to be more fair, if you define fairness as spreading red tape over more entities. Actually, it’s reported as companies with more than 1,000 employees but in reading the actual text of the bill the number 10,000 is changed to one. So I’m led to assume that EVERY company in Maryland is involved.
And that’s not all that’s in this bill. Basically by fiscal year 2010 we’ll have universal health coverage or additional taxes under it. I really love this power grab:
IN THIS SECTION, “APPLICABLE POVERTY INCOME LEVEL” HAS THE
13 MEANING STATED IN § 10-709 OF THE TAX – GENERAL ARTICLE.
14 (B) IN ADDITION TO THE TAX IMPOSED UNDER TITLE 10 OF THE TAX –
15 GENERAL ARTICLE, UNLESS AN INDIVIDUAL DEMONSTRATES TO THE SATISFACTION
16 OF THE COMPTROLLER THAT THE INDIVIDUAL WAS COVERED BY HEALTH
17 INSURANCE OFFERING BENEFITS COMPARABLE TO THE COMPREHENSIVE
18 STANDARD HEALTH BENEFIT PLAN UNDER § 15-1207 OF THIS TITLE FOR THE
19 TAXABLE YEAR:
20 (1) IF THE FEDERAL ADJUSTED GROSS INCOME OF THE INDIVIDUAL, OR
21 OF THE INDIVIDUAL AND THE INDIVIDUAL’S SPOUSE IF THEY FILE A JOINT INCOME
22 TAX RETURN, IS EQUAL TO OR GREATER THAN 350% OF THE APPLICABLE POVERTY
23 INCOME LEVEL, THE INDIVIDUAL SHALL PAY AS ADDITIONAL STATE INCOME TAX
24 FOR THE TAXABLE YEAR AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO THE HOSPITAL SHARE OF
25 COMPREHENSIVE STANDARD HEALTH BENEFIT PLAN FOR THE TAXABLE YEAR, AS
26 ESTABLISHED BY THE MARYLAND HEALTH CARE COMMISSION; AND
27 (2) IF THE FEDERAL ADJUSTED GROSS INCOME OF THE INDIVIDUAL, OR
28 OF THE INDIVIDUAL AND THE INDIVIDUAL’S SPOUSE IF THEY FILE A JOINT INCOME
29 TAX RETURN, IS LESS THAN 350% OF THE APPLICABLE POVERTY INCOME LEVEL AND
30 THE INDIVIDUAL IS ELIGIBLE FOR MDCARE:
31 (I) THE INDIVIDUAL SHALL BE ENROLLED IN MDCARE AND SHALL
32 PAY AS ADDITIONAL STATE INCOME TAX FOR THE TAXABLE YEAR THE APPLICABLE
33 MDCARE PREMIUM;
34 (II) THE COMPTROLLER SHALL COORDINATE WITH MDCARE AND
35 THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND MENTAL HYGIENE TO DETERMINE ELIGIBILITY
36 OF THE INDIVIDUAL FOR MDCARE, THE MARYLAND MEDICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM,
37 AND THE MARYLAND CHILDREN’S HEALTH PROGRAM; AND
38 (III) IF THE INDIVIDUAL IS ELIGIBLE FOR MDCARE, THE MARYLAND
39 MEDICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM, OR THE MARYLAND CHILDREN’S HEALTH
42 UNOFFICIAL COPY OF HOUSE BILL 1510
1 PROGRAM, THE INDIVIDUAL SHALL BE AUTOMATICALLY ENROLLED AND ASSESSED A
2 3-MONTH PREMIUM BY THE COMPTROLLER.
3 (C) NOTWITHSTANDING TITLE 2, SUBTITLE 6 OF THE TAX – GENERAL ARTICLE,
4 THE COMPTROLLER SHALL DISTRIBUTE THE REVENUE FROM THE ADDITIONAL
5 STATE INCOME TAX IMPOSED UNDER THIS SECTION AS FOLLOWS:
6 (1) AMOUNTS RECEIVED UNDER SUBSECTION (B)(1) OF THIS SECTION
7 FROM INDIVIDUALS HAVING FEDERAL ADJUSTED GROSS INCOME EQUAL TO OR
8 GREATER THAN 350% OF THE APPLICABLE POVERTY INCOME LEVEL SHALL BE
9 DISTRIBUTED TO A SPECIAL FUND ADMINISTERED BY THE HEALTH SERVICES COST
10 REVIEW COMMISSION, TO BE USED ONLY TO PROVIDE REIMBURSEMENT FOR
11 UNCOMPENSATED HEALTH CARE IN THE STATE AS REQUIRED UNDER § 19-214(C) OF
12 THE HEALTH – GENERAL ARTICLE; AND
13 (2) AMOUNTS RECEIVED UNDER SUBSECTION (B)(2) OF THIS SECTION
14 FROM INDIVIDUALS HAVING FEDERAL ADJUSTED GROSS INCOME LESS THAN 350%
15 OF THE APPLICABLE POVERTY INCOME LEVEL SHALL BE DISTRIBUTED TO THE
16 GENERAL FUND OF THE STATE.
There was already a plan in place for medically uninsurable individuals to be insured by the state. This bill revamps that existing program into MDCARE, which will cover ALL uninsured people, including those deemed “uninsured” because their premiums are over 3% of their income. This is whether you would choose to be uninsured or not.
Let’s see, HB1510 also doubles the cigarette tax to help pay for all this as well, and MANDATES a certain amount be spent on the program. I thought the governor made the budget. Oh, and a sop to the union thugs, MDCARE employees will have the right to collective bargaining (it’s in the bill too.)
Actually, the reason I started this post was to do a little bit of comparison. I went to the Maryland General Assembly website and looked up all the number of bills that Delegate Hubbard has sponsored as a solo sponsor, then compared it to our local representatives.
In the 2006 session, Hubbard has sponsored 19 bills solo (including HB 1510) and co-sponsored an additional 131 bills. Most of his “solo” bills have to do with health care in one form or another.
In Districts 37 and 38, which cover at least some of Wicomico County, here’s how our elected officials compare:
Bennett Bozman, Delegate, 38B: no solo bills, 117 as co-sponsor.
Rudy Cane, Delegate, 37A: no solo bills, 109 as co-sponsor.
Richard Colburn, Senator, 37: 31 solo bills, 98 as co-sponsor. Most of his solo bills are for various county-level issues, like raising the salary of a judge or money toward a project.
Norman Conway, Delegate, 38B: no solo bills, 84 as co-sponsor.
Addie Eckardt, Delegate, 37B: no solo bills, 122 as co-sponsor.
Page Elmore, Delegate, 38A: 12 solo bills, 145 as co-sponsor. All of his solo bills deal with Somerset County issues.
Jeannie Haddaway, Delegate, 37B: 4 solo bills, 118 as co-sponsor.
Lowell Stoltzfus, Senator, 38: 6 solo bills, 40 as co-sponsor.
So the vast majority of bills where our Delegates and Senators are the lone sponsor deal with mundane county-level issues, which is true of most in the General Assembly. Even many bills that are co-sponsored by our representatives are local issues (as an example, Bozman and Conway were the lone two sponsors of a measure on several occasions.)
But Hubbard is looking to use his district seat to bankrupt an entire state by making health care “free.” Remember, health care is NOT a right. And while it may appear to be “free” (or nearly so) health care to those placed under MDCARE, when they lose their jobs because the business they work for is shackled by all the red tape MDCARE will certainly cause, they’ll see who pays for it all in the end – hard-working Free State entrepreneurs.