Remember when Governor O’Malley insisted on raising discretionary spending by $500 million back during the 2007 Special Session? Yeah, about that….
The state is putting a halt to a portion of a health care expansion that won praise from advocates when it passed during the 2007 special legislative session but is too expensive to pay for in the current economic climate.
Gov. Martin O’Malley’s $14.4 billion general fund budget leaves intact the expansion of Medicaid to eligible parents with incomes at 116 percent of the federal poverty guidelines — or about $20,000 for a family of three.
That effort to expand coverage to the uninsured, which began July 1, had enrolled 28,000 people as of Wednesday.
But there is no money for expanding coverage to childless adults, John Folkemer, deputy secretary of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, told House and Senate committees this week.
There was no money to cover this cockamamie expansion project back when it passed in November 2007, so it didn’t take much to figure that the money was going to run dry and that the project would need to be scaled back in the future. Of course, when the state was already looking at a $1.5 billion deficit at the time of its passage, the Governor and legislative Democrats should have been easily able to figure that out that instead of crossing their fingers and hoping the money would materialize in this economy.
I look forward to the day when competent adults are back in charge of the budget…