KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Maryland’s Health Exchange Continues To Be Hot Button Political Issue

News outlets report on developments regarding health exchanges in Maryland, Delaware and Oregon. 

The Baltimore Sun: Republicans Continue Push To Scrap Health Exchange Website
Republicans in Annapolis continue their push to get more information about what went wrong with the state's troubled health exchange website, and to scrap the site entirely. Maryland Senate Minority Leader David Brinkley called for an independent investigation, but was told in a letter from Attorney General Douglas Gansler that his office lacked the authority (Cohn, 3/6).

The Washington Post: Gansler Decries ‘Mismanagement’ Of Maryland Health Exchange In Letter To GOP Senator
Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D) offered fresh criticism Thursday of the way that Gov. Martin O’Malley’s administration has handled Maryland’s online health insurance exchange, saying in a letter to a Republican senator that “the taxpayers ... have been poorly served by the Executive Branch’s mismanagement.” Gansler, a Democratic candidate for governor, wrote that he is “deeply troubled” by the tens of millions of dollars that have been “wasted while hard-working Marylanders have suffered from the botched rollout” (Wagner, 3/6).

The Associated Press: Del. Officials Report 7K Enrollees In Exchange
With the open enrollment period set to expire in about three weeks, the number of Delawareans who have chosen private insurance plans under the federal Affordable Care Act remains far below the initial goal set by state officials. The number determined to be eligible for health care coverage under the ACA’s Medicaid expansion also remains a fraction of what state officials had estimated last year, according to figures presented to the Delaware Health Care Commission on Thursday (3/6).

The Oregonian: Cover Oregon Health Exchange Considers Web-Based Insurance Seller, ehealth, Inc
The Cover Oregon health insurance exchange is in discussions with eHealth, Inc, the online health insurance seller. The company, which operates the website ehealthinsurance.com, takes over the role of insurance agent, posting information on prices and plans similar to the vision of health care exchanges. News of possible discussions was broken by CNBC, which noted eHealth is close to a deal with Maryland for a pilot program in which the site would provide consumers with preliminary subsidy estimates and forward their application to that state's exchange, getting credit for a sale (Budnick, 3/6).

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