Maryland GOP gubernatorial candidate bashes Obamacare as insurer flees state

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Even in one of the most Democratic states in the nation, politicians believe they can win votes by running against Obamacare.

One of four declared Republican candidates for governor of Maryland, Harford Country Executive David Craig blasted the health care reform law Monday as a “massive new tax” and warned that it “is not going to work.” 

Maryland’s Insurance Commission touted the state’s proposed rates last week as some of the lowest in the nation, but according to a recent GAO report, the least expensive Obamacare plan will be 83 percent higher than the least expensive plan under Maryland’s current system.

As the costs to consumers have increased though, Maryland has proposed lowering its rates to insurance carriers by 29 percent — causing Aetna, the nation’s third-largest insurer, to pull out of the state’s Obamacare exchange Friday.

Aetna told the Maryland Department of Insurance that “unfortunately, we believe the modifications to the rates filed by Aetna and Coventry” — a small company purchased by Aetna earlier this year — “would not allow us to collect enough premiums to cover the cost of the plans, including the medical network and service expectations of our customers,” according to Reuters.

Craig saw Aetna’s departure as a hit to the state’s economy. “It is deeply troubling that Maryland has yet again soured relations with major employers and job creators,” Craig wrote Monday morning.  “Another company acquires one of Maryland’s last remaining Fortune 500 companies and takes their business elsewhere because regulators tell them what to charge.”

Concerns about the Affordable Care Act’s economic repercussions have spiked as reports have indicated that 77 percent of the jobs created in the last month were part-time — and therefore will be untouched by the Obamacare employer mandate.

“These are only the initial, visible cracks in the foundation of the health care law,” Craig wrote. “I’m concerned about the cracks we don’t see yet.”

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