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Brown to testify at health hearings

Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown said he will testify at Tuesday's hearings on the state's troubled health exchange, where lawmakers will consider an emergency fix for people who tried to buy health insurance but were stymied by its technical glitches.

Last week, it was an open question whether Brown would attend. 

Brown said Monday he and everyone else state in charge of the health exchange share responsibility for its failures, but he also blamed inaccurate reports for his not knowing that the online insurance marketplace would be riddled with technical programs before it launched.

"I relied on accurate reports, and what we're finding is that reports were incomplete and inaccurate," Brown said. He did not identify anyone who may have had the responsibility to provide such reports.

Brown reiterated that he and Gov. Martin O'Malley's administration are focused on fixing problems, but an "investigation or audit" of the healthcare rollout will eventually take place, he said. 

"That's something that will be done, but right now we don't want to divert attention" away from problem solving, he said. "We are making progress, but we're not satisfied until we enroll more and more Marylanders." 

His comments come as his Democratic rivals in the race for governor increase political attacks on Brown's in the failed health exchange. While the state has exceeded its goal on Medicaid enrollments, so far it has enrolled fewer than 15 percent of the 150,000 people officials hoped to get into private plans by the end of March.

Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler planned an afternoon press conference to respond to a recent Washington Post report that state officials were warned more than a year ago that the exchange could have huge technical troubles.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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