Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) on Tuesday appointed a leading critic of the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act to chair the state’s health-care commission, drawing immediate criticism from Democrats.
Robert E. Moffit has served as a member of the commission, which oversees hospitals and health care in the state, since 2015. A senior fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, he has called for a full repeal of the federal health-care law, promoted Medicare vouchers and applauded the controversial health-care bill that House Republicans passed last week.
Critics of the GOP plan say it would drastically increase the number of uninsured in the country and roll back strict requirements for the coverage that insurers must provide. Democrats have vowed since the bill passed the House on Thursday to target those who voted for or supported it when they are up for reelection.
“If Marylanders weren’t scared of Governor Hogan’s refusal to oppose Trumpcare before, they should be now,” Maryland Democratic Party spokesman Bryan Lesswing said after Moffitt’s appointment was announced.
Hogan spokeswoman Amelia Chasse said that the state’s Democratic-majority Senate twice confirmed Moffitt to serve on the health-care commission, once in 2003 when then-Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich (R) tapped him for the panel, and again in 2016, when Hogan selected him.
She described the criticism of Moffit as “partisan noise from partisan people,” adding that the commission does not determine federal health-care policy or Maryland’s response to it.
Moffit completed his undergraduate work at La Salle University in Philadelphia before earning a master’s degree and a doctorate in political science from the University of Arizona. He served as a deputy assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services during Ronald Reagan’s administration and as an assistant director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
He has written many articles critical of the ACA, including a 2015 piece in which he described notions that the law would reduce annual health-care costs for the typical American family as “pure nonsense from the start.”
As a member of the commission last year, he was in charge of reviewing plans for a proposed regional medical center in Prince George’s County that Democrats strongly supported. He voted in favor of the project after ordering officials to trim its costs.