Craig & Haddaway blast emergency Obamacare legislation in Maryland


David Craig and Jeannie Haddaway are critical of SB 134, a bill introduced at the request of the Martin O’Malley-Anthony Brown administration today in Annapolis. The bill would shift those consumers who haven’t been able to buy insurance through the troubled Maryland Health Connection to the high risk insurance pool. This would expire on March 31 and would result in those people having to try again to enroll in the Maryland Health Connection, assuming it works properly by then. This move could cost up to $10 million. Craig and Haddaway have before called on the state to let people know that they can use a broker or sign up for insurance directly through a carrier.

Here’s the press release from the campaign of David Craig and Jeannie Haddaway:

Maryland Lt. Governor candidate and state delegate Jeannie Haddaway pointed out fundamental flaws of the O’Malley-Brown Administration’s emergency health care legislation which is intended to be a stop-gap measure for consumers experiencing enrollment difficulties on the state-run exchange. The bill, SB 134, introduced today in the Maryland General Assembly, is the Administration’s latest response to numerous technical challenges plaguing Maryland Health Connection.

“The O’Malley-Brown Administration’s ill-conceived emergency legislation merely shuffles people from the failing state-run Obamacare exchange into another state-run insurance program for a limited amount of time,” said Haddaway. “Trying to fix bureaucratic problems with more bureaucracy just creates more confusion and makes it more difficult for consumers.”

The bill shuffles people from Maryland Health Connection to another state-run program, the Maryland Health Insurance Plan, a high-risk insurance pool the state created in 2002. The legislation requires that people must provide evidence that they could not sign up for coverage. It is unclear how government officials plan to deal with those who may not have such evidence or simply gave up due to computer screen freezes and crashes.

This transfer plan would only be in effect until March 31. That means consumers would have to apply for the Maryland Health Insurance Plan and then go back and re-apply to Maryland Health Connection. The Administration is assuming that Maryland Health Connection would then by working properly.

“I am very concerned that people will fall through the cracks and wind up without access to healthcare,” said Haddaway. “The Administration does not know how many people are affected, nor what the cost to the taxpayer will be. Moreover, if Governor O’Malley’s health care point man and Lt. Governor Anthony Brown had been on top of this, there would not be a need for so-called ’emergency legislation.”

Harford County Executive and Maryland Governor candidate David Craig, along with Haddaway, have previously called on the Administration to drop the emphasis on Maryland Health Connection and instead inform consumers of their rights to sign up for coverage directly through carriers or utilize the assistance of insurance brokers.

“It is time to call on people who know what they’re doing,” said Craig.

The Administration has previously estimated the measure will cost up to $10 million affecting anywhere from hundreds to thousands of consumers.

Here’s the bill:

Maryland Senate Bill 314, 2014

Jeff Quinton

Jeff Quinton

Jeff Quinton is an award-winning blogger who has been aggregating and blogging since 1998. He has worked as a reporter, in government, and as a communications professional in Columbia, SC and Washington, DC.

Quinton is a native South Carolinian who has lived in Baltimore since 2006. He is a recent convert to the Catholic Church and is active in the Knights of Columbus. He has been involved in the pro-life movement nationally and locally since 2010.

Quinton is a veteran who served as an intelligence analyst in the Army National Guard. He is also an Eagle Scout.
Jeff Quinton