Disastrous Rollout of Maryland Health Care Exchange

January 14, 2014

Website Demands Investigation

Maryland Senate Republicans renew their request to create a special joint investigative committee to review the implementation of Maryland’s online Obamacare exchange

In response to emergency legislation proposed by the O’Malley/Brown administration, Senate Minority Leader David Brinkley (R – Frederick) renewed his request for the creation of a special joint investigative committee with the direction and the power to fully investigate the disastrous implementation of Obamacare in Maryland.

At today’s legislative hearing, Brinkley said, “The administration’s rush to pass this bill makes it clear that the colossal failure of the Maryland Health Connection website is a symptom of deeper problems with Maryland’s inept handling of Obamacare implementation. These problems foreshadow dire consequences to future state budget as well as our citizens who, through no fault of their own, are currently without health insurance.”

In December, Brinkley sent a letter on behalf of the Senate Republican Caucus to the presiding officers requesting that an investigative committee be established through the Legislative Policy Committee as provided under the rules of the Senate and House of Delegates. Further, Brinkley urged that the committee retain independent counsel well-versed in health care and health insurance law and be granted subpoena power to ensure compliance with all aspects of the investigation.

The Administration’s bill (Senate Bill 134) that was heard today would provide retroactive coverage to Marylanders who unsuccessfully attempted to sign up for private health insurance via the state’s health care exchange website.

“The O’Malley/Brown administration is asking Maryland taxpayers to pay more – likely much more than the current estimate of $10 million – without any assurance to Marylanders that they intend to uncover exactly what went wrong in the first place,” Brinkley added.

“President Obama, Governor O’Malley, and Lieutenant Governor Brown promised people affordable health care, but this deal keeps getting more unaffordable by the day.”

Senate Minority Whip Joe Getty (R – Carroll) shared Senator Brinkley’s sentiments, saying, “We continue to hear from other stakeholders that the website is just the tip of the iceberg as far as future problems in the delivery and payment of health services. Physicians, hospitals, insurers and citizens all face uncertainty that at this stage is crippling our once very effective and efficient health care system in Maryland.”

Senator Brinkley concluded, “What happened today is that the private insurers stepped up to offer retroactive coverage to victims of Obamacare. Isn’t it ironic that, after being targeted as the villains in the health care debate, it is the private insurance providers that come to the rescue of Maryland’s crippled system?”

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