Reznik Report from Annapolis – Groundhog Day Update

February 2, 2019

Happy February, and Happy Groundhog Day! Hope everyone’s been staying warm with all this weather we’ve been having. Please remember to bring your pets inside, and maybe check on your neighbors, and make sure they’re alright.

We’re continuing to hold budget hearings – we have a difficult task ahead of us, making sure we submit a carefully balanced budget, so finding out what the various departments have accomplished in the past year, and what they have planned for the future is critical to our decision making process.

Bill hearings got started this week, which is always exciting. With so many freshman delegates, there’s a refreshing infusion of new ideas and passion. The cross-file of my robotics grant expansion had its first hearing in the Senate this week, and I’ll have 3 bill hearings this coming week.


I am re-introducing a bill that would create State-Provided Health Care Benefits, or to use the buzzword, single payer healthcare, in Maryland. Through a payroll tax for employers, an Office of Health Care Coverage would be established and funded to provide healthcare for all Maryland residents. Despite the potential rhetoric around single payer health care in general, and around my bill specifically (which is very different from other plans that have been discussed), single payer healthcare is the go-to form of funding private healthcare in every capitalist democracy on the planet, except the United States. And we’ve seen the statistics – the United States has the highest costs of healthcare per capita with some of the worst health outcomes, including life expectancy, infant and maternal mortality, and overall quality of life and health.

My plan is very different. It replicates our existing models of Medicaid delivery in order to collectively finance private healthcare. It is complicated, as we know all health care models are, but in short, I believe under my plan businesses on average will pay less, everyone will get access to care, consumers will have more choice in the managed care organization market, insurance companies will not go out of business keeping all of their people employed, and administrative burdens for doctors decrease. I’ve been studying and planning this legislation for over two years now, and though I know it will be a hard road to convince my colleagues to implement such a monumental change, I am looking forward to the conversation.


As Kathleen Dumais, the House Majority Leader, stated in her State of the State reponse, “[w]e will work with Governor Hogan when we can. But we will not sacrifice our Democratic values and principles to cut deals.”

Governor Hogan gave the first State of the State address of his second term this week. His message was generally well received, as he focused on many aspects of progress Maryland has made over the past few years. However, there are some significant policy and fiscal disagreements between parties. We will do our best to work through our differences and find common ground, and hopefully everyone will be coming to the table with open minds.


I got some nice media coverage this week – below are links to two articles. The first is about my single payer bill (mentioned above), and the second is about a briefing we had in the Joint Committee on Federal Relations, related to the Federal Shutdown.

House Lawmakers Introduce Single-Payer Health Care Bill
Maryland legislators look ahead to next shutdown

Categorized in: