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O'Malley, Redskins Tackle Debut Radio Ad

The Washington Redskins haven't been too convincing on the football field lately. Perhaps the players will do better pitching health care.

That hope is apparently behind a new radio ad featuring Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) and Redskins offensive tackle Chris Samuels

O'Malley, Samuels and a slew of elected officials from Prince George's County gathered at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt this afternoon to debut the public service spot, which is airing on several stations around the region.

In the ad, the governor and Samuels encourage Marylanders to sign up for Medicaid, the subsidized health insurance program that state lawmakers expanded last year, making more adults eligible for coverage.

The ads seek to bolster the enrollment of the newly eligible adults, as well as that of children and adults already eligible but who have not signed up. People are encouraged to call 211 to find out if they qualify. The campaign is sponsored by a number of organizations, including the Maryland Health Care For All, AARP and Carefirst BlueCross BlueShield.

Samuels, a six-time Pro Bowler for the 2-3 Redskins, said he was "proud to help" with the effort.

O'Malley said he was particularly grateful to appear with Samuels, who suffered a neck injury in the team's 20-17 loss to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday and will be sidelined next week.

"I really want to thank Chris Samuels for coming here even though he's a little banged up," O'Malley said.

It was the governor's second appearance in recent weeks with NFL players. Late last month, O'Malley joined several Baltimore Ravens in Glen Burnie to promote physical education in schools.That event was somewhat more festive, as the Ravens were off to a 3-0 start at the time.

Curiously, O'Malley today sported a purple dress shirt, which seemingly would have been more appropriate for the Ravens event. The former Baltimore mayor's shirt was covered half way through the program with a jersey presented by the 5-1 Roosevelt Raiders.

Other elected officials on hand for the event, held on the Raiders home field, included U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.), Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D), Sen. Paul G. Pinsky (D-Prince George's) and Del. Justin D. Ross (D-Prince George's).

Pinsky noted that two of his daughters had gone to Roosevelt. Ross noted that he had graduated from the school.

The visiting Del. Heather R. Mizeur (D-Montgomery) distinguished herself by working the most football metaphors into one sentence.

"Our success is no last-minute 'Hail Mary' but rather a series of smart plays and first downs," Mizeur said, referring to several recent initiatives in Maryland that have expanded access to health care.

By John Wagner  |  October 13, 2009; 2:42 PM ET
Categories:  Governor , Health Care , John Wagner , Prince George's County  
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