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New Subpoenas Into Md. Health Care Exchange Issued

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WJZ general assignment reporter Mike Hellgren came to Maryland's News...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The investigation continues into Maryland’s troubled health exchange. A top contractor who built the website says a federal agency looking into the problems has now asked for internal documents.

Mike Hellgren has more on what we’re learning about the probe.

The contractor says he is fully complying with the request, which comes from the inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services. But legal experts caution it is too early to read too much into any possible federal investigation.

Maryland’s health exchange website, which allows people to sign up for Obamacare, was plagued with errors from the start and cost taxpayers millions. Now we’re learning federal auditors may be digging for more information.

The CEO for a contractor who put the site together tells WJZ: “On July 30, Noridian Healthcare Solutions received a document request from the inspector general. The company is cooperating fully.”

“Why were all these dollars paid when there’s very little documentation about what work was done?” said Congressman Andy Harris, (R) Maryland.

Harris, who fought against Obamacare, claims new subpoenas could be the start of a wider investigation. But legal analyst Andrew Levy says that’s going too far.

“The fact that subpoenas have been issued allows you to conclude absolutely nothing,” Levy said.

Right now, it’s unclear whether anybody is being targeted in Maryland, whether they’re contractors, government employees or public officials.

In other states with similarly troubled exchanges, lawsuits have already begun. In Oregon, where, like Maryland, catchy commercials promised more than the site delivered, the FBI is looking into possible fraud.

“Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent or allocated and little to show for it, especially at Cover Oregon,” said Congressman Greg Walden, (R) Oregon.

But in Maryland, a spokesman for the exchange says it has not received a subpoena.

For the lieutenant governor, who took a leadership role, the problems have become a political issue. His campaign accuses Harris of playing political games and says he’s had no communication with federal investigators.

The inspector general, whose office is nonpartisan and independent, will neither confirm nor deny any investigation into Maryland’s health exchange.

Maryland’s exchange could eventually cost taxpayers more than $260 million.

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