Maryland’s exchange for workers with disabilities is no more, as the state’s governor says the federal government is making it more difficult for workers to participate.
Maryland’s exchange is no longer a source of employment for more than 100,000 workers with chronic illnesses, including many who have disabilities that are difficult for them to get around.
Larry Hogan on Friday said he was withdrawing the state exchange and suspending its pilot program for people with disabilities, but he said the governor is not withdrawing any state funds for the program.
He also said he will be appointing a new governor to take over.
Hogan said in a statement Friday that he will continue to work with other states to help them implement their exchange plans, but that he “does not believe the state has a viable program that can meet the needs of the current and future needs of Marylanders.”
Hogan, a Republican, is seeking re-election next year and will be running in an election that is expected to be closely watched by many workers with intellectual disabilities.
Hudson, a Democrat, has criticized the governor for continuing to push through a pilot program that is more costly and more burdensome than alternatives.
Hazan, who has been in office since 2014, said he hopes the governor will reconsider the program and focus on improving the health of the people who use it.
Hanan also said that he and his administration are looking at how to increase funding for the state-run exchange.
Hagan did not say how much he would raise money for the exchange, which is now a source for employment for about 100,500 workers with severe mental health problems.
Hagan also did not give a timeline for the changes.
Marylanders with severe intellectual disabilities are typically more likely to be jobless and often rely on social services to help pay for their living costs, including Medicaid.
Haiman has said that the state could increase its workforce participation rate from its current 13.6 percent to 16.5 percent by the end of the year, which would help address the statewide shortage of skilled workers.
The exchange has been a boon to workers with disability, as many of them are employed by the Maryland Department of Employment and Training.
But the state is still struggling with the costs of providing basic services to its workers, including health care, food and clothing.