Del. Peter A. Hammen, a Baltimore Democrat and chairman of the Health and Government Operations Committee, said regular updates or discussion about the decision the state would make to replace the exchange "would have been helpful." But at this point, Hammen said, he's looking forward to making sure the state's system works when the next open enrollment period begins in November.

Since the crash in October, the state has made changes that bode well for ensuring that the Connecticut model will be up and running by November, said Sen. Thomas "Mac" Middleton, chairman of the Finance Committee and one of the lawmakers overseeing a panel looking into the exchange.

"They've got somebody who knows this stuff to advise them," the Democrat said, referring to Optum/QSSI, the contractor that took over in December.

The state has also transferred authority over the day-to-day technology decisions to FitzGerald. Those two major changes, Middleton said, resolve what he found to be the key problem with the exchange before the rollout.

"This has been a management issue," he said.

FitzGerald told state lawmakers last week: "We are going to be ready on Nov. 15."

"That's a promise?" Middleton asked.

FitzGerald said there are a lot of reasons to expect that to happen, but "I never make promises."

meredith.cohn@baltsun.com

andrea.walker@baltsun.com

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