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State Moves Forward With Exchange

August 22, 2011

Mississippi received $20 million in a federal grant this month to begin implementation of a new healthcare exchange program. Such programs are mandated under the new federal healthcare legislation, and a state’s failure to act will give the federal government the ability to set up a program for the state on its own.

This has put a number of Republican governors in a tricky position- either begin implementation on healthcare legislation you oppose and are challenging in the courts or let Obama and his administration (should he win re-election) do it for you. Which leads to Haley Barbour. He has been a strong proponent of exchanges for some time, going back to his 2007 re-election campaign.

Earlier this year, the legislature adjourned without working out differences on the operation and oversight of the board in the House and Senate bills. Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney used his authority to move forward with the Mississippi Comprehensive Health Insurance Risk Pool Association, with a subgroup in place to oversee the exchange. This looks like the exchanges Barbour has talked about and supported.

The politics of this is pretty interesting. The House Insurance Chairman who oversaw legislation on that side is Rep. Walter Robinson. The Democrat lost his primary and won’t be back next January. On the Senate side, Republican Sen. Buck Clarke chairs their Insurance Committee and he will have a difficult re-election this fall in a district that is now about 50 percent black. Of course, legislation now appears to be a moot point.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, the only supporter of Obamacare in the Congressional delegation, seemed lukewarm about his support of the exchange only saying that he hopes the state “will honor the spirit of the health care law and do its part to give hard-working families the opportunity to benefit from better health care outcomes.”

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Eric permalink
    August 22, 2011 12:10 pm

    Uh oh. Obamacare is in town with those dastardly exchanges providing subsidized health care for poor people!

  2. Thankful Bryant Won permalink
    August 22, 2011 2:05 pm

    I thought that subsidized health care for poor people was called Medicaid? But can you really say there are poor people in America anymore. Most have air conditioned homes, cell phones, and flat screen televisions with HD cable service. Maybe I am poor too. Wake Up!

    • Eric permalink
      August 22, 2011 3:50 pm

      If you’re working and subject to the mandate, and don’t already have health insurance, I would call you poor. Having a television does not mean that someone has the buying power to buy themselves insurance as an individual in our rather insane healthcare system, but is merely a reflection of how much electronics prices have dropped over the past couple of decades. Meanwhile, healthcare costs have skyrocketed.

    • unowho permalink
      August 22, 2011 4:17 pm

      The reality is this. The reason Health care insurance is so expensive is that we’ve given the medical industry a license to steal. Insurance is in essence a mortgage note pre-paid until needed. If you want to bring down the cost of health care. remove all insurance and put the medical industry back into a free market based program. Let competitive markets control the pricing.

      Why do we protect one industry from the Rrpublican Mantra of ” free market competition.”

    • Ron Williams permalink
      August 23, 2011 2:00 pm

      Your name tells usn about you.

      The fact is this. Both parties use this ruse of poor versus wealthy and other emotional hot buttons to keep workin men and women of our state at odds, so we don’t vote together to oust the crooked politicians and their supporters who benefit from our divisiveness.

      I am a republican from Mississippi. I am proud of our State, and I’m proud to be a Republican, but I met a lot of Republicans who would be happier if we still had slaves. The ignorance of the elite of our Party is incredible. Maybe it’s not ignorance maybe its just good deception on thier part.

      There are poor people in opur state. We do need to assist them. There is also a lot of subsidized fraud in our state. We need to stop it.

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