AG Jim Hood – Chaney has authority to create, run Miss. health insurance exchange

State Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney says Attorney General Jim Hood has issued an opinion that Chaney has the authority to create and run a health insurance exchange.

“(Hood) said I have the authority,” Chaney said Tuesday evening.

Gov. Phil Bryant had sought to block the establishment of a state insurance exchange, saying it was a gateway to allowing full implementation of “Obamacare” in Mississippi. Chaney has said it’s important for the state to create its own exchange, so the federal government doesn’t come in and take over the state’s health insurance market.

Bryant had sent a letter to federal officials saying he, as the state’s chief executive officer, has the authority to deal with the federal government on such issues, not Chaney. That stance had appeared to halt or slow federal approval or disapproval of Mississippi’s proposed exchange.

Clarion Ledger
1/15/13