The Honorable Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr.
President of the Senate
State House
Annapolis MD 21401

Dear Mr. President:

In accordance with Article II, Section 17 of the Maryland Constitution, I have today vetoed Senate Bill 627 - Maryland Medical Assistance Program and Maryland Children's Health Program Reimbursement Rates Fairness Act of 2001.

This bill requires the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to establish a process to annually set the fee-for-service reimbursement rates for the Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program in a manner that ensures provider participation. The Department must report by September 1, 2001 to the Governor, Senate Finance Committee, Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, House Environmental Matters Committee and the House Appropriations Committee on: (1) its progress in establishing the reimbursement process; (2) an analysis of the fee-for-service reimbursement rates paid in other states and how those rates compare with those in the State; (3) its schedule for bringing the State's rates to a level that assures that all health care providers are reimbursed adequately to provide access to care; and (4) an analysis on the estimated cost of implementation.

House Bill 1071, which was passed by the General Assembly and signed by me, accomplishes the same purpose. Therefore, it is not necessary for me to sign Senate Bill 627.

Parris N. Glendening