Angering those who don't support its backbone--a doubled tobacco tax--Maryland lawmakers are going ahead with their proposal to cover more of the state's roughly 780,000 uninsured. The plan, which would double the state's tobacco tax to $2, would cover low income workers and subsidize small business coverage. The idea would be to bring far more poor residents into coverage plans, while requiring private insurance firms to let young adults stay on their parents plans until they reached age 25. Under its terms, it might impose penalties on businesses that can afford insurance for workers but don't buy it (a less direct re-emergence of "make Wal-Mart buy insurance"-themed legislation which surfaced previously). Regardless of what proposal survives, however, it won't constitute a plan for truly universal healthcare. The most ambitious would only bring about a third of the nearly 800,000 uninsured on board.
To find out more how Maryland's plans are developing:
- read this Washington Post article