Eight Questions for Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney
regarding his ObamaCare Health Care Exchange
ONE: What is your benchmark plan? And upon whose plan is it modeled?
Background: The state is required to have a benchmark under the Affordable Care Act. The benchmark sets what “must be considered a minimum of what all insurers offering plans to individuals or workplaces of less than 50 people must use by January 2014.”
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Let us assume Blue Cross Blue Shield’s small group plan is the benchmark. Likely result? BCBS becomes the dominant carrier. The result is that they squeeze out other, more affordable plans. Premiums also rise – as no plan with fewer benefits can be offered at all. Other carriers also may leave the state. If the state doesn’t pick a plan, the feds default to the most used small group plan in the state. And if HHS doesn’t like how the state creates its benefit plans, we have to change them to suit D.C. Flexibility? None.
TWO: Will the state use the exchange to allow people to sign up for Medicaid?
Medicaid is not a free market insurance plan. Yet we are continually being told Mississippi is setting up a free market exchange.
THREE: Will the exchange be used to enable people to sign up for other government benefit programs, such as TANF or food stamps or child care services?
FOUR: Has the state requested a federal cost allocation waiver to cover the initial costs of using the exchange to allow people to sign up for TANF, food stamps and child care services?
FIVE: What impact will the enrollment of thousands of new people in these programs have on the state budget?
SIX: Will the exchange have access to and share with the federal government personal data on exchange users? Including:
Any other data? (such as applications for hunting licenses, etc.)
Background: Exchanges being set up in other states, such as MN, will pre-populate the exchange website with this data. The data will then be shared with the federal government.
SEVEN: Why is Commissioner Chaney spending federal exchange grant money to pay non-governmental institutions?
Who are these organizations? What are they doing on behalf of the exchange?
Background: Sisters of Mercy Ministries has received thousands of dollars to set up an “exchange development program.” What is this? Follow the money. Likewise, a group called “Comprehensive Health Insurance” has received thousands for “professional services” related to the exchange. What are these services?
EIGHT: Why is Commissioner Chaney working with former Obama administration officials to help set up Mississippi’s “independent, free market” exchange?
The state has paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars to Leavitt Partners, including renewing an optional one-year contract with Leavitt to continue its work on an exchange. Is Mike Chaney aware that Leavitt includes such consultants as Joel Arrio. Prior to working for Leavitt, Arrio was Director of the Office of Insurance Exchanges at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the Obama administration. In short, the same people who set up ObamaCare are now working for Leavitt and this is who MDI is working with to set up our exchange. So, in what way is the exchange anything but a creature of ObamaCare controlled by the federal government?
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