The Honorable Robert L. Ehrlich
Governor of Maryland
100 State Office Circle
Annapolis, MD 21401
Dear Governor Ehrlich:
On behalf of the more than 6,600 members of the National Taxpayers Union (NTU) in Maryland, I write in support of your vetoes of both the medical liability reform plan and the corporate income tax increase that have been sent to you by the Legislature. The Legislature appears to be fixated on transforming Maryland into a high-tax state by raising taxes on corporations and health care consumers alike.
On the medical malpractice issue, although your original intention of reforming the state?s medical liability system in order to curb out-of-control health care costs was certainly admirable, it is apparent that many in the Legislature believe they represent trial lawyers first and the people of Maryland last.
Doctors covered by Maryland?s largest malpractice insurer are facing a 33 percent increase in their 2005 premiums; that is on top of a 28 percent increase in 2004 premiums. Undoubtedly, medical malpractice reform is essential if the state is going to get a handle on the health costs of its citizens and keep it competitive with other states nationwide. Unfortunately, instead of passing necessary reforms, legislators decided to levy a 2 percent tax on HMO premiums and water down the malpractice reforms.
The second major piece of legislation for which our members in Maryland are thankful for your veto is the ridiculous 10 percent surcharge the Legislature would like to place on corporate income taxes to funnel even more money to higher education. These new taxes will only hurt the state?s efforts to create jobs and economic growth within the state while doing little to improve the state?s colleges and universities.
Marylanders don?t need higher taxes and they most definitely don?t need to be footing the bill for doctors? medical malpractice payments or even more spending on higher education. NTU and its members will work hard to ensure that enough legislators stand firm against these ill conceived and unnecessary tax increases.
Paul J. Gessing
Director of Government Affairs