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Frost Family Pitches Maryland Health Care

The Maryland Health Care for All! Coalition, in its third straight year pushing for universal health care in Maryland, unveil a $50,000 radio spot yesterday in advance of next week's special session of the General Assembly.

Pitching for them this year in the ad and at a news conference today is Baltimore mother, Bonnie Frost, whose 12-year-old son Graeme suffered brain damage in an accident and was enlisted by Democrats this month to promote the federal-state children's health insurance program.

The Frost family was then attacked by some conservative commentators , who questioned whether the family's income was too high to qualify for the children's insurance program. That, in turn, set off questions about what lawmakers, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell did to spread the story.

In Maryland, the House of Delegates passed an ambitious bill last winter that would have used an increase in the tobacco tax to fund health coverage for hundreds of thousands of Marylanders, but the Senate blocked it. Senate leaders and Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) said the state needed to close a projected deficit before considering a new program.

The tobacco tax increase is now back, part of the governor's deficit-closing package the legislature will take up next week. It would eventually fund expanded health coverage.

"There's growing consensus for this, but we're not taking anything for granted," said Vincent DeMarco, president of the Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative

By Phyllis Jordan  |  October 22, 2007; 7:55 AM ET
Categories:  Lisa Rein  
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