After suffering through a high-profile intraparty squabble with the governor and averting a near disaster for the state’s insurance marketplace, Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney is giving another go at running an Obamacare exchange.
The article is interesting because it is about one of the most conservative states of the Union. It was noted in the news earlier also that Kentucky ( another ultra conservative voting state lately) had a smooth first health exchange day because they were so well prepared for the State exchanges there. This week 700 + Mississippi small business owners met to look at the plans and local radio reports they like what it means for their employee happiness and well being. These owners feel the exchange may let them out of insurance black boxes they feel they have had little control over in the past and that this may offer competition. The local insurance companies decided to act before their business was undermined by being left out of the game. Can;t win if you don't play... so these hardcore football supporters knew what to do.... They formed their own team and got in the game.
The latest effort comes a few months after HHS rejected Chaney’s bid to build a state-run insurance marketplace following a very public spat between him and Gov. Phil Bryant, a vocal Obamacare opponent who directly appealed to the Obama administration to knock down the commissioner’s exchange efforts. HHS ultimately decided that Chaney couldn’t run the exchange without Bryant’s support and instead offered to run the exchange in partnership — an offer Chaney declined.
Under the arrangement Chaney’s now proposing, the Mississippi Insurance Department would oversee the insurance marketplace for small businesses, known as the SHOP exchange. The feds, meanwhile, would oversee the individual exchange, which includes enforcement of the health law’s individual mandate and distribution of premium subsidies.