Health insurance exchange plan from Mississippi rejected

Mike Chaney, Mississippi Health Insurance Commissioner
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Mike Chaney, Mississippi Health Insurance CommissionerThis makes the state the first to have its healthcare reform proposal rejected by the federal government.

On Friday, Mississippi became the first among all of the states to have its health insurance exchange proposal rejected by the federal government.

According to federal officials, this was due to the opposition that it experienced by the state’s governor.

Republican Governor Phil Bryant’s opposition to Mississippi’s health insurance marketplace proposal is being blamed for its eventual rejection by the federal government. The state received a letter from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that said that “With a lack of support from your governor and no formal commitment to coordinate from other state agencies, we do not see a feasible pathway to conditionally approving a state-based exchange in Mississippi for 2014.”

The state’s Commissioner has been butting heads over the health insurance exchange issue.

Commissioner Mike Chaney, also a Republican, has been battling party leaders within the state, including Bryant, regarding the way that Mississippi intends to implement a health insurance exchange that is run by the state. This online marketplace is a central element of the healthcare reforms that were made in 2010 by President Barack Obama as a part of the Affordable Care Act.

Governor Bryant has been in direct opposition of a system that is run by the state, having explained that it swings the door wide open for the rest of the Affordable Care Act. He stated that he believes that if these healthcare reforms are welcomed into Mississippi, then the state will find itself swimming in debt linked to expanded participation in Medicaid.

Though Chaney is also openly opposed to the federal healthcare overhaul, he also feels that a health insurance exchange that is run by the state would provide it with more control over the marketplace. This, he believes, would save millions of dollars and thousands of jobs over time. When the proposal was rejected, the commissioner said that he felt “betrayed”, and said that he felt that the ruling was based not on his plan’s merits, but that it was denied due to politics.

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