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State Dispute Puts A Mississippi Insurance Exchange In Question

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 03 Jan 2013 05:52pm | comments
Insurance commission Chaney

A dispute between Mississippi's Governor and Insurance commissioner could put the state's proposed health insurance exchange at risk. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports Mississippi is the only state to submit an exchange blue print and not receive preliminary approval.

Officials with the department of Health and Human services announced Thursday that they are delaying a decision because of disagreement between the Governor and insurance Commissioner.

Under the health care law, exchanges are to be set up and run by individual states or by the federal government.

Governor Phil Bryant and Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney disagree about which one of them has authority to create a plan and submit it for federal approval.

Commissioner Mike Chaney submitted the blue print in November and says he is disappointed with the decision, but understands the reluctance from the federal government.

"in practically and being pragmatic about the problem, you have to work with other agencies. And if that is not going to happen then we cannot operate a state-based exchange. I think the damage is done, we have just got to figure out what we are going to do from this point on," Chaney said.

In a statement, Governor Phil Bryant says he opposes what he calls 'Obamacare' and considers the exchanges a portal for the law.

Bryant also sent letters to the Department of Health and Human Serivces saying he believes only the governor can act on behalf of the state.

Commissioner Chaney says the department will likely not give approval until the differences are resolved.

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Insurance commission Chaney


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