Legislative leaders announce health care exchange oversight group

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Legislative leaders Thursday announced the creation of a health care oversight committee tasked with diagnosing the issues that plagued the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange's first open enrollment period.

The group will monitor the effort to fix the exchange to improve the statewide initiative's second open enrollment period.

"We can't change the past and the important thing right now is to exercise our legislative oversight role and we need to understand the ongoing status of the Health Exchange moving forward." Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. said in statement. "At the same time, we need to begin a process to learn the tough lessons which led us to this point so we can do whatever needs to be done in the future to improve the success of this and other large information technology projects."

Senate Finance Committee chairman Sen. Thomas Middleton and House Health and Government Operations Committee chairman Del. Peter Hammen will lead the bipartisan group. The group will hold meetings throughout the 2014 Maryland General Assembly and after.

"My primary concern for the next two months is ensuring that any Marylander who wants to obtain insurance through the Exchange, can get into the Exchange," said Chairman Pete Hammen in a statement. "Then I believe, as policymakers, we need to take a step back and determine lessons learned from the first open enrollment period to avoid logistical and operational problems during November's open enrollment."

During the session, the committee will focus on the steps taken to fix the issues associated with the rollout of healthcare in Maryland under the Affordable Care Act. Lawmakers will address policies and processes to "inform the effective and efficient operation" of the next open enrollment period in November.

The group will meet for the first time next week. The oversight is composed of the following legislators:

  • Senator Thomas M. Middleton, Senate Chair (D)
  • Del. Peter Hammen, House Chair (D)
  • Sen. David Brinkley (R)
  • Sen. Barry Glassman (R)
  • Sen. Ed Kasemeyer (D)
  • Sen. Catherine Pugh (D)
  • Del. A. Wade Kach (R)
  • Del. Susan Krebs (R)
  • Del. Joseline Peña-Melnyk (D)
  • Del. Shane Pendergrass (D) 
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