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As Obamacare mandate ends, Md. Democrats push alternative mandate plan

Posted: January 11, 2018

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Two of Maryland’s Democratic lawmakers unveiled their answer to the federal rollback of Obamacare: a program that would charge a fee to residents who do not buy medical insurance and use the money as a “down payment” to enroll them in coverage from the state’s health-care exchange.

Sen. Brian J. Feldman (Montgomery) and Del. Joseline A. Peña-Melnyk (Prince George’s) said they will propose the legislation this year in response to congressional Republicans effectively eliminating the federal mandate to buy insurance or pay a penalty, a move many experts say could destabilize the individual marketplace and drive up premiums.

The federal mandate requiring people to have insurance will end in 2019.

The measure, which is the first of its kind in the nation, is backed by at least five other Democratic lawmakers, the Maryland NAACP, Baltimore City Health Commissioner Leana Wen and the Maryland Health Care for All Coalition, which helped draft the plan.

Senate Finance Committee Chair Thomas M. Middleton (D-Charles) said his panel will take up the legislation next week.

Read the full story at the Washington Post: With Obama’s federal mandate disappearing, Md. Democrats push ‘down payment’ plan – The Washington Post

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