It's an election year, so few political observers expected the Maryland General Assembly to take on anything controversial during this session.
But if the legislature wants anybody to take seriously its claim to truly care about the public welfare, it must - at the very least - agree to a serious study and debate on medical malpractice issues in 2007.
Without some action, Washington County will eventually have fewer medical professionals serving its citizens, who will be forced to travel to the metropolitan areas for their care.
In 2005, the legislature passed a bill eliminating a 2 percent tax exemption on coverage premiums for health-maintenance organizations. The money raised was supposed to be used to subsidize doctors' malpractice premiums.