Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney has become something of an expert on an unlikely topic – creating a state health insurance exchange as outlined under the federal Affordable Care Act.
The fact that a Republican elected official in Mississippi is among the national leaders in developing a plan to implement one of the key parts of Obamacare is somewhat surprising. It’s also a tribute to his common sense.
Chaney wanted to be prepared in the event the Affordable Care Act was not going to be repealed. Repeal would likely only have occurred if Republicans had won the presidency and also control of both houses in Congress.
Chaney’s forethought put him at odds with Gov. Phil Bryant, whose position seems to be to continue with political rhetoric instead of to deal with reality.
The law gives states three options: 1) Create a state exchange using federal money to get the technology needed to allow the state’s citizens to compare plans and buy their own insurance. 2) Cede the responsibility and control to the federal government. 3) Come up with a federal-state partnership to set up the exchange.
Chaney chose the first option – one that actually had been advocated by Gov. Haley Barbour before it was incorporated into Obamacare. We think he made the right decision.
Mississippi needs to take a pro-active role in improving the health of its citizens. Lack of adequate health care is holding our state back.
Chaney stepped up with a plan to keep the state with a voice in implementing the Affordable Care Act.