Today House Minority Leader George C. Edwards (District 1A) and Minority Whip Anthony J. ODonnell (District 29C) as well as Senate Minority Leader Stoltzfus and Senate Minority Whip Harris called for the repeal of the HMO tax recently enacted by legislative override of the Governors veto.
Delegate George Edwards said Almost everyone in this town wants to tax everything that moves. Were just trying to put a stop to that.
Democrats overrode Governor Ehrlichs veto of the HMO tax bill despite repeated warnings by Republicans that the tax would be passed on by the HMOs to their customers. Democrats, led by House Speaker Michael Busch repeatedly denied that charge, yet as has been evident since the override, many insurance companies have already begun passing along the tax.
Mid Atlantic Medical Services, Aetna and Kaiser Permanente are reportedly already scheduling rate increases and Jeffery W. Valentine, spokesman for CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, was quoted in the January 5, 2005 edition of the Baltimore Sun as saying, It would be inevitable that some or all of the tax would be passed along to our customers in higher premiums.
We simply cannot afford this tax, and thats why we are here today. This is not about partisanship. This is about doing what is best for working families in Maryland commented Delegate ODonnell.