Sometimes there is just no comfort in being right, when the ultimate outcome — albeit predicted — is a bad one. On January 4, we reported on Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich’s battle with the legislature over medical malpractice reform “A Stray Bullet in Maryland”, below). Some geniuses and trial bar shills in the Maryland legislature hatched a perfect plan: a tax on HMO’s to help defray the cost of out-of-control premiums, so as not to interrupt the flow of cash to their cronies. We said at the time that it was a rotten idea. The obvious villains were the trial lawyers, who escaped from unscathed from all this reform. Taxing HMO’s, of course, would only drive up premiums.
Well, it’s all come to pass in less than a month. The legislature overrode Gov. Ehrlich’s veto and guess what? A front page story in yesterday’s Washington Times by Robert Redding, Jr. and Marguerite Higgins reports that HMO’s are having to pass the costs along to the consumer. Big shockeroo there.
Today’s story is even better (read: worse), i.e, that the Democrat state leaders are blaming it all on the Republican state insurance commissioner.
OK, so let’s recap: Maryland is flooded with frivolous lawsuits thanks to the trial bar’s grip on the legislature. Premiums skyrocket, doctors flee. So far, no surprises. Governor moves to fix it, capping damage awards, reining in the lawyers. Trial bar-controlled legislature passes a bill instead that shoots the wounded, adding a tax on HMO’s, hoping apparently to run the last provider out of the state. Governor vetoes, trial lawyers override it through their lackeys in the legislature and guess what? Costs increase some more. Who knew? We did.
Forget Hertzberg — maybe these guys should get the ostrich award.
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