ANNAPOLIS - Some Maryland lawmakers are worried federal funding for health care reform could be yanked from the state as it begins implementing some of the new mandates.
"We're all aware there is a coalition of states that are trying to blow away the new federal health care law," said Sen. Jim Rosapepe, D-Prince George's and Anne Arundel counties, during a meeting of the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee. "If some of the funding is blocked at the federal level ... how do we make progress in implementing the new federal plan?"
Sen. Paul Pinsky, D-Prince George's, said Maryland should "get creative" with health care reform, citing states that have adopted an individual mandate independent of the federal government.
The state's newly appointed health secretary, Josh Sharfstein, said Maryland should immediately start taking advantage of federal money for the reforms.
"On certain investments, right now, we can get a 90 percent federal match," Sharfstein told lawmakers. "We have tremendous opportunities we can take advantage of right now... In Maryland we'll be full steam ahead on those and we'll get a huge value out of them."
Sharfstein added: "I think the politics will take care of themselves."