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Maryland Congressmen Address Problems With Health Care Website

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Intense criticism and calls for action continue in Washington over problems with the government’s health care website.

Derek Valcourt has reaction from two of Maryland’s congressmen on the problems and how they think it should be addressed.

How Maryland’s congressional delegation feel about the problems depend on their political affiliation.

“This is exactly what we thought would happen,” said Republican Congressman Andy Harris.

Harris isn’t surprised by problems with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act. He finds faults with what he calls high costs of some health plans and recent revelations that insurance providers in several states are dropping more than two million people because their policies don’t meet minimum standards for the new law.

“What the president ought to do is make good on his promise that if you like your plan you can keep it,” said Harris.

“Second thing he should do is he ought to suspend the Affordable Care Act until the exchange — HealthCare.gov — is up and running, and I mean really up and running, so that you can go from beginning to end and actually get a reasonable accurate price quote on a policy,” said Harris.

Baltimore Democrat Congressman Elijah Cummings agrees problems with the HealthCare.gov website need to be fixed.

But he said the Affordable Care Act is already saving lives and saving some people a lot of money.

“Be patient. There are a lot of people who are saying a lot of negative things about the Affordable Care Act, but they’ve got to remember what their motives are,” said Cummings.

“If the people who stood on the sidelines bashing this program, trying to defund it, trying to destroy it, trying to delay it, if they just spent a little bit of their time trying to help make it the best that it could be so that it might serve all of our constituents, we’d be far better off,” he said.

It appears Congress will have a chance to vote on delaying at least parts of the Affordable Care Act.

Right now, the deadline to apply and enroll in coverage is set for March 31.

Those who don’t enroll by the March 31 deadline will face a tax penalty of $95.

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