More Smoke from O’Governor

Governor O’Malley is sniveling again. No surprise there. His mood seems to be one of high dudgeon whether he’s dealing with state schools superintendent Nancy Grasmick, state comptroller Peter Franchot, or anyone who tells him he can’t have his way. Now his target is the Bush Administration for telling him that he has to follow federal rules to get federal money.

O’Malley objected to a provision in the rules that requires states to cover 95 percent of children in families earning less than twice the poverty level before they can offer services to children in families with slightly higher incomes. Maryland has some of the highest income thresholds in the nation, allowing children to be covered in families earning three times the poverty level.

The Bush administration has argued that the rules are needed to keep the 10-year-old program focused on families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford their own insurance. Allowing middle-income children to enroll could prompt them to drop private coverage, the administration has argued.

A better question is why O’Malley isn’t trying to ensure those whom the program was designed for aren’t covered.

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When one considers all the flack Wal-Mart gets from liberals for laying the health care costs of its 65-years-of-age plus employees on Medicare it is pretty ironic to see our governor encouraging other companies to do the same.

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