Judge mulls insurer’s request to block Gov. order

A federal judge says he intends to rule on Monday in a dispute between Mississippi’s largest health insurer and Gov. Phil Bryant.

U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate heard arguments Friday in a lawsuit Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi filed to try to block an executive order that Bryant issued Tuesday.

Bryant’s order would make Blue Cross resume paying in-network rates at hospitals owned by Health Management Associates.

Blue Cross says the governor doesn’t have the power to dictate terms of a contract between two private companies. It’s asking Wingate to issue a temporary restraining order, which would allow the insurer to ignore Bryant’s command.