Del. Jolene Ivey, the brand-new running mate of Maryland Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Douglas F. Gansler, took a swing Thursday at her ticket’s chief rival, Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, over the state’s bumpy rollout of its health exchange.
“We owed it to our president and the people of Maryland to get this right,” Ivey said in a statement issued by the Gansler campaign.
Health care is among the issues on which Brown has played a leading role in the administration of Gov. Martin O’Malley (D). Until recently, Maryland had been held up as a model for its implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
But the Web site for Maryland’s health exchange was plagued by glitches when it debuted this month, hindering the ability of people to sign up for coverage as part of Obama’s signature initiative.
“Much like President Obama, Lt. Governor Brown is focused on solutions, and it’s a shame that the Gansler campaign is trying to score cheap political points on such an important issue,” Brown campaign manager Justin Schall said Thursday, adding that Brown “remains committed to making quality affordable health care available to everyone in Maryland.”
In her statement, Ivey pointed to a Baltimore Sun article this week in which Brown said he didn’t know there would be problems with the enrollment system until its opening day.
Ivey said that was an indication that Brown had “time for politics, but not for people.”
Gansler, Maryland’s attorney general, unveiled Ivey as his choice of 2014 lieutenant governor candidate Monday.
Ivey said Thursday that Obama’s embrace of health-care reform was one of the reasons she and Gansler supported his presidential candidacy in 2008. Brown was a Hillary Clinton supporter in the Democratic primaries that year.
Brown and Gansler are both angling for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in June, along with Del. Heather R. Mizeur (D-Montgomery).