MIM – Health exchanges makes for interesting politics

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.

Majority in Mississippi
8/22/11