Lt. Governor Anthony Brown: Maryland Health Benefit Exchange is a 'big mess'

BALTIMORE, Md. - The goal is to help out the uninsured, but two months after the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange was launched, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown says "it's not serving the people of Maryland." 

Brown said that at a news conference today, while introducing the interim director of the program. 

Brown was candid, saying he's disappointed and he even called Maryland's Health Benefit Exchange "a big mess."  The comments follow the resignation of the director last week.

Today, Interim Director Carolyn Quattrocki was introduced by Brown, who oversees the effort to enroll Maryland's uninsured.  Since Oct. 1, even Brown admits it has failed the people of Maryland.

There are technical problems that have made it tough to sign up online.  Brown, a Democratic candidate for governor, dismissed politics to say he's now making sure the Health Benefit Exchange works. 

"I am frustrated and disappointed how the launch of the Exchange website has gone.  My focus is on resolving the issues and ensuring that every Marylander can obtain quality, affordable healthcare," Brown said.

Brown said just over 5,000 people have successfully signed up.  The hope was to get 150,000 by the end of March.  He says technical improvements have been made, and there's been an increase in staffing.

Brown could not say if the problems will be resolved before new insurance plans take effect on January 1.

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