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Maryland official who led problematic, state-run ObamaCare site resigns

Maryland_website.jpg

Dec. 7, 2013: A screen grab of the Maryland-run ObamaCare exchange, MarylandHeathConnection.gov

The top Maryland official in charge of the state-run ObamaCare exchange has resigned amid major efforts to fix the problematic website.

Rebecca Pearce, executive director of the Maryland Health Benefits Exchange, resigned Friday, according to the Maryland board overseeing the exchange. 

She appears to be among the first officials to lose a job as a result of problems with ObamaCare exchanges since they went live Oct. 1.

Critics of the federal exchange have called for the resignation of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and other administration officials in charge of the problem-plagued HealthCare.gov. But President Obama has yet to accept a resignation.

The Maryland exchange’s board of directors released a statement saying it has accepted Pearce’s resignation and that she “worked tirelessly and with tremendous dedication to build Maryland Health Connection over more than two years.”

The group has not said exactly why Pearce resigned. But a source told The Washington Post is was related to leadership changes made by Gov. Martin O’Malley, a strong political ally of Obama and a potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate.

Maryland is one of 14 states running its own exchange and has struggled with the same kind of technical problems that have plagued the federal site that the 36 other states use to sign up Americans for insurance under Obama’s signature health care reform law.

O’Malley has been a strong supporter of ObamaCare, and his Democratic-leaning state was among the first to get started on a state-run exchange.

However, the site, MarylandHealthConnection.gov, crashed soon after the October rollout and has sputtered along over roughly the past nine weeks, enrolling just 3,000 residents.

However, state officials indicated earlier Friday that the site has shown some improvement, signing up roughly 700 more people in the week ending Nov. 30.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.