The Washington Post

O’Malley, back from a trade mission, plans to provide update on health insurance rollout

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), who recently returned from a trade mission to Brazil and El Salvador, plans to brief the media on Thursday regarding the status of the state’s online health insurance exchange, an aide said.

O’Malley’s expected appearance comes just two days after Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (D) addressed reporters on the same subject and declined to say whether the state would meet a mid-December target set by O’Malley to fix the major glitches that have hindered enrollments in private insurance plans.

O’Malley announced the mid-December goal at a news conference two weeks ago as Brown sat by his side.

On Tuesday, Brown said that about 5,200 people had chosen to sign up for private health plans through Maryland’s exchange. Maryland’s performance has lagged some of the other states that chose to run their own insurance marketplaces rather than rely on the Web site run by the federal government.

The number who enrolled in Maryland during the past week was double that of any other week since the launch of the exchange on Oct. 1, Brown said. Still, the state remains a long way from its goal of enrolling 150,000 uninsured Marylanders by the end of March.

Brown, who is running for governor next year, has sought to take a leadership role on implementing the federal health care law in Maryland.

He has been heavily criticized in recent weeks by his Democratic rival, Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D), for the state’s performance. The June primary also includes Del. Heather R. Mizeur (D-Montgomery).

John Wagner is a political reporter covering the race for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

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