By Maria Trovato
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Tuesday released a statement calling for Congress to vote against the Graham-Cassidy bill. This bill is the latest attempt by the GOP to repeal and replace former President Barrack Obama’s signature health care law, the Affordable Care Act (ACA.)
“Unfortunately, the Graham-Cassidy bill is not a solution that works for Maryland,” the Republican governor said. “It will cost our state over $2 billion annually while directly jeopardizing the health care of our citizens.”
While he does not support this particular bill for repealing ACA, Hogan is not happy with the health care system. In his statement, he urged Democrats and Republicans to come together to reform it.
“We need common sense, bipartisan solutions that will stabilize markets and actually expand affordable coverage,” he said.
Hogan is not the first Republican governor to come out against the bill. Ten governors including five Republicans, four Democrats and one independent wrote a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-New York, advising them to vote against the bill and “renew support for Bipartisan efforts to make healthcare more available and more affordable for all Americans.” Hogan did not take part in this letter.
Political groups on the University of Maryland College Park campus have varying opinions about Hogan’s statement.
Jacob Polce, President of UMD College Democrats and senior government and politics major, thinks the Governor could have gone further with his statement.
“It’s definitely a positive thing that he’s not falling in line with Trump and Republicans who are in favor of this bill and he’s calling for competent bipartisan solutions,” he said. “At the same time, he hasn’t really offered any specifics, he kind of focuses on platitudes and talking points that are aimed at his reelection. I think he could do more positive things like participating in a full-on discussion of Medicaid.”
Meanwhile, the President of UMD College Republicans Steven Clark somewhat disagrees with the Governor’s statement.
“I’m a big supporter of the governor but I am also a big supporter of repealing Obamacare,” said the junior government and politics major. “The Governor is right that we’re definitely going to lose money…but I think that every state is going to have to make sacrifices. We have an over 20 trillion-dollar debt and we’re going to have to cut from somewhere and healthcare spending is an area that has continued to rise…The Graham-Cassidy bill, while not perfect, is our best chance to finally make some changes in the healthcare system.”
Hogan is running for reelection next year and his actions now could impact his campaign. Maryland is a majority Democratic state, so it may be important for Hogan to be more moderate.
Polce’s stance on supporting the Democratic nominee in the next state election has not wavered with the Governor’s response to the Graham-Cassidy bill. He sees Hogan’s statement simply as way to appeal to more voters and believes that his assertions will change if reelected.
“The governor likes to take left and then move right,” Polce said. “If he gets elected again, he doesn’t have to worry about reelection anymore and so it only makes sense for him as a Republican to move right.”
Clark agrees that the upcoming election has partially impacted the Governor’s latest actions yet still supports him.
“I am 100 percent behind the Governor for reelection, in fact, for College Republicans, our campaign is Terps for Hogan,” he said.. “He’s governing a state that’s two to one in favor of Democrats, so he does have to be more moderate and reach out to Democrats as well as his Republican base.”
Featured image by Nate Pesce via Flickr.