A group of Democratic state legislators are continuing their effort to pass legislation imposing a cigarette tax to fund a Medicaid expansion and drug treatment. Dubbed the "Healthy Maryland Initiative," the group plans to file a bill which would double the tax on cigarettes to $2 per pack. The tax should raise more than $200 million during the first year after inception, and roughly $170 million thereafter. The funds would help to bring coverage to the state's approximately 780,000 uninsured citizens. Gov. Martin O' Malley, however, has vowed not to raise taxes during his first year in office, so the bill's prospects are uncertain. A similar proposal, Proposition 86, was defeated late last year in California, but other states continue to consider the notion.
Get more background on the tax:
- read this piece from the Baltimore Sun