Phase one of Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley's so-called Health Coverage Act goes into effect tomorrow when Maryland taxpayers will begin subsidizing the insurance premiums of small businesses and their employees.
Under O'Malley's socialized medicine approach taxpayers will pay up to 50% of the health insurance premiums of small companies with 2 to 9 full-time workers, as long as their average wage is below $50,000.
Not only that, under O'Malley's plan, which goes into effect July 1, taxpayers will pay for the expansion of Medicaid to cover parents with incomes up to $20,500 for a family of three.
Over the next 16 months, O'Malley's plan will have taxpayers pick up a good portion of the health insurance tab for about 100,000 individuals and 1,500 small businesses.
What's wrong with this picture?
Think about it. While many of us scrape and save in order to pay our health insurance premiums, O'Malley is rewarding those who don't by having the rest of us subsidize them.
A fairer solution would have been to offer a special state tax deduction for health insurance premiums as an incentive for lower income individuals to protect themselves and their families. This approach is teaching a person how to fish, rather then giving the catch every day -- the O'Malley way.
However, that would have reduced the size of and the dependency on government, while O'Malley's grand, socialized medicine approach grows the size and strength of the welfare state.
It also gives the state much more control on whom companies can hire and what they produce. After all, if they don't measure up to the latest state diversity or environmental demands, they could lose their subsidized health care!
What do you think of O'Malley's plan, which is just the first step in a deliberate journey toward socialized medicine?