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Md. Insurance Chief Criticized

Redmer added that he has no intention of resigning, and he joked about Miller's call for him to do so during a conference call with reporters while he was attending a convention in Arizona.

Democrats and Republicans offered dueling interpretations yesterday of a state attorney general's office memo about what had transpired.

_____From the Post_____
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Ehrlich Blames Democrats for 'Damaging' Relations (The Washington Post, Jan 27, 2005)
State Funding Leaves Schools Wanting More (The Washington Post, Jan 27, 2005)
Intimidation of Trial Witnesses Called 'Terrorism' (The Washington Post, Jan 26, 2005)
Full Report

The memo, written this week by Assistant Attorney General Robert A. Zarnoch, said the Maryland Insurance Administration has the authority to approve rate increases in the fashion that Redmer did.

But it suggested that the "better legal course" would have been for the Insurance Administration to follow its usual process of individually evaluating requests from insurance companies for rate increases, or to have passed a regulation explicitly allowing it to grant "deemed approvals."

The bill passed by the General Assembly is expected to raise about $64 million next year from the tax on HMOs. Part of that money will be used to curb doctors' medical malpractice insurance costs. The rest will be used to increase payments to doctors from Medicaid, the state insurance program for the poor.

Republican leaders argued yesterday that the new revenue is not needed.

In his budget released last week, Ehrlich earmarked $30 million for a fund to stabilize doctors' insurance rates next year and $37 million to boost Medicaid payments.

Democrats have argued that Ehrlich should use that money to fund other priorities.

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