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Craig demands O’Malley, Brown release health exchange costs

A Republican candidate for governor is demanding that Gov. Martin J. O’Malley and Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown release information on the costs associated with the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange.

David Craig

Harford County Executive David Craig. (The Daily Record/Maximilian Franz)

“I am dumbfounded that legislators should even have to ask how much this thing costs,” said County Executive David Craig, R-Harford. “This administration prides itself on state-stat and modern government accountability programs, but when it comes to disclosing simple accounting information that might embarrass them, it takes an act of the state legislature to learn how much money is going down the drain.”

Craig’s comments come hours before state officials are scheduled to update a joint House and Senate oversight committee in Annapolis.

The 10-member panel announced last week [subscriber access] will be led by House Government Operations Chairman Del. Peter A. Hammen, D-Baltimore, and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Thomas M. “Mac” Middleton, D-Charles.

Sen. David R. Brinkley, R-Frederick and Carroll, last month called for a full investigation to be conducted by an independent investigator who has subpoena powers.

During the General Assembly session, it will focus on efforts to resolve problems with the state’s health insurance website. After the session ends in April, the joint committee will focus on why the website failed to launch properly.

Craig said the updates should not begin until the costs are known.

“It is ludicrous that legislators are going to sit around a table in Annapolis asking administration officials to please tell taxpayers how much of their money is being wasted on Maryland Health Connection, when the amount should already have been made public,” Craig said.