Remember Governor O’Malley’s campaign commercial banging Bob Ehrlich for raising fees and taxes? You know the one, in which an allegedly random citizen says “if it comes out of my pocket, it’s a tax.”
Going by that logic, O’Malley’s FY 2012 budget proposal contains a $264 million tax increase.
O’Malley plans to slash $264 million in Medicaid payments to hospitals. The Health Services Cost Review Commission will have to determine where the burden of that cut will go. To handle O’Malley’s $123 million cut in the FY 2011 budget last year, the committee portioned out the burden on hospitals and insurance companies. The costs, of course, were passed on to the public in the form of higher hospital rates and higher insurance premiums for workers and employers. The commission will most likely repeat its cost shifting plan this year.
O’Malley’s proposal is a 111 percent increase over the previous year.
Governor O’Malley promised to submit a budget without tax increases. By his own standard, he has failed to keep that promise.
However, as with all of Martin O’Malley’s promises, his pledge not to raise taxes comes with an expiration date.