Gov. Harry Hughes said yesterday that, despite increasing opposition in the General Assembly, a major portion of his program to reduce health care costs will be enacted this year.
"I think there probably are some problems, but I don't think that's important," the governor said when asked at a news conference about the "health" of his health care package.
Hughes said he never expected that all seven bills would be approved without some compromises.
Committees in both the Senate and the House of Delegates have strong reservations about some portions of the package, especially a bill that would allow the state to set an overall cap on the revenues Maryland's 59 hospitals can collect each year.
There also is mounting opposition to a bill that would impose a moratorium on hospital construction until next October.
Different areas of the health care industry are lobbying against different bills, but Hughes said he doesn't think they will be able to scuttle the major portion of his health care program.
The governor said there is strong, broad-based support for his efforts to control costs.
"The public is very concerned about health care costs. Business is very concerned . . . . Labor is very concerned," Hughes said. Medical costs are also the top priority of senior citizens groups, who are lobbying for the package, he said.