Maryland is considering a plan that would require residents to purchase health insurance. Very similar on the surface to the Massachusetts plan, but with a few key differences. Via Balt Sun:
The plan would be a radical change from the current system of employers
choosing which health plans to offer to workers. It would set up an
insurance exchange where individuals could choose from any plans
offered by insurers and keep the same coverage when moving from job to
The plan wouldn’t apply to large employers, but the cutoff on employer size hasn’t been set.Employers would pay much of the cost, with each employer setting a
dollar figure it would contribute toward the purchase. And the state
would provide a subsidy for lower-income workers.
The Maryland Health plan doesn’t include any mandate on employers –
making it different from the Massachusetts law. But Cowdry said
"individual responsibility would put greater pressure on employers" to
"be in the game" by contributing to insurance coverage.
If the idea actually goes anywhere, Maryland would become the second state to embrace the idea of mandated coverage. Given the amount of attention and credibility Romney has gained by taking credit for coming up with the idea, it seems inevitable that more states will launch similar experiments. So who will be next? In California, Arnold’s office has been hinting that a major health care policy announcement of some kind is on the way. I wonder if they could be planning something along similar lines. — John Irvine