KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Maryland’s Troubled Exchange Spurs Political Debate

Democratic and Republican critics of Maryland's dysfunctional exchange urged state officials to consider alternatives to the current online insurance marketplace. The issue has also become campaign fodder for gubernatorial candidates.   

The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire: Maryland Congressman: Can We Switch To Federal Health Site?
A Maryland congressman has asked the state whether it’s feasible to consider temporarily switching to the federal site while the state continues work fixing its own health insurance site. Rep. John Delaney (D., Md.) said he’s concerned the state isn’t keeping pace with enrollment goals. As of Dec. 28, 18,257 people enrolled in private health plans through Maryland’s insurance exchange, which Mr. Delaney says is 12% of the state’s enrollment goal of 150,000 for private health plans. Nationwide, about 2.1 million have enrolled in private health plans, which represents about 30% of a White House goal of seven million (Corbett Dooren, 1/6).

The Associated Press: Critics Urge Moving Away From Maryland Exchange 
Democratic and Republican critics of Maryland's troubled health exchange urged state officials on Monday to consider other options to signing up state residents for health care plans (1/16).

The Washington Post: Democratic Hopeful Mizeur Decries 'Failure Of Leadership' On Maryland's Health Exchange
Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Heather R. Mizeur on Monday called the rollout of Maryland’s online health insurance exchange a "debacle" and said the General Assembly needs to "step in and make it right." "Our current situation has been a twin failure of leadership being asleep at the wheel when the program was being designed and then overpromising that everything was fixed when it wasn't," said Mizeur, a state delegate from Montgomery County (Wagner, 1/6).

The Washington Post: Governor Candidate David Craig: Md. Should Stop Promoting Its Troubled Health Exchange
A leading Republican candidate for Maryland governor wants the state to stop spending millions of dollars marketing and promoting its problem-plagued health insurance marketplace and instead point residents directly to private insurance carriers and other options. Harford County Executive David R. Craig (R) released a plan on Monday that calls on the administration of Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) to obtain a waiver from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to divert money away from promoting the state’s health exchange and toward a "public awareness campaign informing consumers of their right to obtain health insurance directly through carriers" (Johnson, 1/6).

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