- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 15, 2010

Former Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. expects to have a standoff with the state’s attorney general over President Obama’s new health care law if he gets elected again this year.

Mr. Ehrlich, a Republican who is campaigning to win back the governor’s office he lost to Martin O’Malley in 2006, said he would like Maryland to join a dozen other states in opposing what has come to be known as “Obamacare,” but he expects to get no cooperation from the attorney general.

Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, a Democrat, is running for re-election in November this year.

“I have very profound problems with the [health care plan] in many fronts, not least of which is affordability of the states with respect to Medicaid,” Mr. Ehrlich told The Washington Times’ “America’s Morning News” radio show.

He said Mr. Gansler — whom he described as an “Obama man” — thinks the health care plan is good thing, “and I think it is bad for the country.”

“There would be a standoff. I would be interesting to see how it will play out.”

Raquel Guillory, spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office, said Mr. Ehrlich guessed right on the impending standoff.

“We took the responsible step of reviewing the health care bill and found no constitutional issues” with it, she added.

If Mr. Ehrlich gets elected governor in November and opposes the health care plan, the Maryland case will be similar to the ones developing in Georgia and Washington state.

This week, Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, a Republican, appointed a special attorney general to represent the state in opposing the health care reform after the state’s Democratic attorney general, Thurbert Baker, refused to join the fight.

In Washington state, Attorney General Rob McKenna, a Republican, joined 12 other state prosecutors in a lawsuit filed in Florida late last month opposing the health care plan, angering Democratic Gov. Christine Gregoire, who supports the plan.

Mr. Ehrlich spoke to the radio show as the “tea party” movement was arriving in the nation’s capital for the final stop of its rally. He said he would join a “tea party” rally in Westminster, Md., and his wife, Kendel, would attend two rallies.