Critics of Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) are pressuring the highly popular governor to fight more aggressively against the GOP health plan being considered in Congress. (Linda Davidson/The Washington Post)

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) has criticized his party’s latest plan for replacing the Affordable Care Act.

But the head of the Maryland Democratic Party says he should do more.

Kathleen Matthews said during a conference call with reporters on Wednesday that Hogan has shown a “lack of leadership” on the issue and was “acting more like a politician than a true governor who cares about the healthcare of hundreds of thousands of constituents.”

Hogan has criticized the Senate proposal to significantly scale back former President Obama’s signature legislative accomplishment, and give more responsibility for health care to individual states. His spokeswoman said last week that the legislation “does not work for Maryland” and that “Congress should go back to the drawing board in an open, transparent and bipartisan fashion to craft a bill that works for all Americans.”

The governor has also met with the Maryland’s congressional delegation, pressing its members to find a middle path between Democrats who want to preserve the Affordable Care Act and Republicans who would like to drastically overhaul it.

Maryland Democratic Party chair Kathleen Matthews (right) (Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post)

But Matthews insisted that Hogan needs to be more aggressive, noting that other GOP governors, including Charlie Baker in Massachusetts, John Kasich in Ohio and Brian Sandoval in Nevada, have come out forcefully against the Republican plan.

Matthews, who took the helm of the party this spring, described Hogan’s approach as “wishy washy,” saying Marylanders “deserve a leader who can stand up to his own party and fight for them.”

The conference call was the latest attempt by Hogan’s critics to damage the popular governor’s brand by tying him to controversial Republican proposals coming out of Washington, many of which are associated with President Trump.

In addition to Matthews, the call included six other opponents of the GOP proposal, among them former state and federal health officials, the executive vice president of the Association of American Medical Colleges and two Maryland residents who struggled to find affordable care before implementation of the ACA.

“For the first time in my adult life, I was able to have health care I could afford,” said Barbara Gruber, who has asthma and other pre-existing conditions. She added that the ACT “could use a few tweaks … but let’s not do that on the backs of those of us who are least able to afford it.”

Amelia Chasse, a spokeswoman for the governor’s office, said Hogan has been “very consistent in saying he will not support a plan that is going to cause Marylanders to lose coverage.” She also noted that Hogan has made his views clear to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price on two occasions when they met this year.

“Amping up the political rhetoric is not going to be productive,” Chasse said.