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Obamacare critic to head state health care commission

Gov. Larry Hogan has appointed Robert Emmet Moffit, a critic of Obamacare who has called for the repeal of the health care law, to chair the Maryland Health Care Commission.

Moffit is a senior fellow at the Center for Health Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation, the conservative think tank in Washington. In February, he wrote a paper for the foundation calling Obamacare "a proven policy failure" and urged the administration of President Donald Trump and Congress to "completely repeal" it.

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Moffit has served on the commission since 2015 and succeeds Dr. Craig Tanio, whose term expired last month. Moffit also served on the commission in the past for a four-year term beginning in 2003. He was confirmed by a Democratic General Assembly both times, a Hogan spokeswoman said.

The Maryland Democratic Party nonetheless criticized the appointment of Moffit.

"Governor Larry Hogan just appointed to lead his Maryland Health Care Commission an individual who wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act and allow insurance companies to end coverage for birth control, maternity care, and preventive check-ups," the party said in written statement. "If Marylanders weren't scared of Governor Hogan's refusal to oppose Trumpcare before, they should be now."

A Hogan spokeswoman said the commission does not have a role in "determining federal health care policy or Maryland's response to it."

Moffit said one of his top priories will be to modernize the state's certificate of need program, a process health care companies must go through to open new facilities.

The commission has a number of roles including developing report cards for hospitals and other facilities and conducting studies on health issues when requested by the General Assembly. It also works to ensure access to health coverage and care.

Twitter.com/ankwalker

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