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Wed Jan 10, 2018, 07:17 AM

Maryland seeks to turn health care mandate into down payment

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland lawmakers want to create an individual health care mandate at the state level - in response to Washington gutting it at the federal level - and turn it into a down payment for people to pay for health insurance.

Supporters outlined the proposal Tuesday, a day before the Maryland legislative session begins, adding it could also work in other states to help keep insurance premiums from skyrocketing. The Maryland General Assembly is controlled by Democrats.

The federal tax overhaul approved last month removed the federal penalty that was charged to people without health insurance. Under Maryland legislation, the state would offer people without insurance a choice: pay a tax penalty or use the money as a down payment on insurance.

"We're saying instead of just paying the penalty and being off the rolls, we're going to take those dollars and deploy them in such a way as to use it as a down payment to allow you to make a decision to actually purchase health insurance," said state Sen. Brian Feldman, a Democrat representing a district in Maryland's most populous county.

Read more: http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/37228827/maryland-seeks-to-turn-health-care-mandate-into-down-payment

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