O'Malley's policies were better for children

I was surprised in reading Matthew H. Joseph's article "An Agenda for Children" (Sept. 26) that he either chose not to make clear the dramatic difference between the health care policies and achievements of Gov. Martin O'Malley and former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. or does not know Governor O'Malley's record of achievement for Maryland's families.

Mr. Joseph committed a serious omission of fact when he chose not to mention Governor O'Malley's support for improved health care, even before the passage of the of the new federal health care reform legislation. The omission of that fact, plus the lack of any reference at all to the passage of federal health care reform act, the most radical change in health care since President Roosevelt, places Mr. Joseph's entire article in a faulty context.

When one writes to advocate for children and families, and fails to mention the great strides forward in Maryland's health care standards (moving us from the 5th worst state in the nation to rank among the top twenty states — 16th) the reader can only wonder if Mr. Joseph spun his argument in a vacuum.

We know, for example, the federal health reform will now provide care for thousands of Maryland's uninsured families, including a provision Mr. Joseph specifically called for — preventative health care. In addition, under Governor O'Malley's leadership, even before the new federal program was passed, state health care laws were passed that extended health care to thousands of Maryland families.

Mr. Joseph noted that on September 30th groups from all across the state will gather for a gubernatorial forum on children. There will be an opportunity to clarify the differences between the two major candidates for governor. Perhaps they should begin by thanking Governor O'Malley for all he has accomplished for families, and asking for a pledge from Mr. Ehrlich to reject the Republican call to repeal the federal health care reform act.

Jack Sharp, Baltimore

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