Tag: Thomas Mac Middleton

Md. health insurance exchange to open this fall at cost of $200M

The cost of implementing Maryland’s new health insurance exchange program – a component of President Barack Obama’s signature health care law – will reach nearly $200 million as the exchange opens for business Oct. 1. The $200 million will pay for the program to get underway, and the state is kicking in more than $20 million of that, despite early assurances that federal funds would pay for implementation of the program.

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Proposal to webcast Senate committee voting shot down

Maryland citizens will have to wait at least another year to get remote access to one of the most important but least accessible parts of the legislative process: committee voting sessions in which bills are amended, killed or sent to the floor.

The Senate Rules Committee on Wednesday voted down a proposed amendment to Senate rules by Sen. Allan Kittleman, R-Howard, that would have required Senate committees to webcast the crucial voting sessions, as the committee hearings already are.

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Caregivers are angry over unspent disabilities funding

Health Secretary Joshua Sharfstein will try to explain to the Senate Finance Committee Wednesday how the Developmental Disabilities Administration left $38 million unspent over the last two years while 6,500 patients sit on a waiting list for state services. Most of the caregivers and advocates for the disabled were angry and upset after MarylandReporter.com reported about the unspent money three weeks ago, a surplus that forced $25 million in potential state aid to be reverted to the general fund. We profile three of the affected families.

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UPDATE: Expanded union rights for private state contractors passes Senate

As governors and legislatures in the Midwest battle over rolling back collective bargaining rights for government workers, Maryland lawmakers are on the verge of establishing more union rights for private home health aides paid by the state. The Senate gave final approval to the bill Friday afternoon in a 31 to 16 vote with several Democrats joining the dozen Republicans opposing the bill.

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