Opinion
7:00 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Brown's Opponents Have A Point On Health Care

Credit Tom Chalkley

Brown's Opponents Have A Point On Health Care

What did he know and when did he know it?

Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown says he came to work one day to discover a "mess." A mess for medical insurance seekers, to be sure. A mess for Mr. Brown? Equally certain. He’s running for governor. His opponents say his performance proves he’s not ready. Of course they are.

But of course, they’re right. It can’t be good for your campaign if you’re failing at the most prominent chore you had as lieutenant governor. I speak of the can’t-seem-to-get-up-and-running website for the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. Frozen computer screens, error messages and other so called “glitches” we’re all familiar with have made Maryland’s system one of the worst-seeming in the nation. This after assertions that we would be one of the best.

The problem for Brown looms large because one of his primary liabilities as a candidate is lack of administrative experience. His decision to resist calls for disclosure of email traffic looks like hiding. Some emails were obtained by The Baltimore Sun. They revealed infighting, more technical problems and management issues.

These messages suggested the “mess” Brown discovered was there for some time. Not good for someone who wants to appear alert, tuned in and quick with solutions. The good news: everyone has sympathy with computer problems. And, though sluggish out of the blocks, the likelihood for recovery is high.

If the site can’t be fixed – and there were rumors to that effect – the damage could be considerable.

Your comments are welcome at fsmith@wypr.org.