Despite prior criticism from some in his own party, Chaney chose to lay the groundwork for Mississippi to operate its own health insurance exchange under state control. While many states are now scrambling after President Obama’s re-election, Chaney quietly prepared to operate a state-run exchange and is now considered somewhat of a national expert on how states can go about setting up the exchanges from within the guidelines of the three possible approaches.
That’s the post-election good news in Mississippi regarding the Obama health care reforms.
But the bad news is that a monumental battle now looms over Medicaid expansion.
When the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government can’t threaten or withhold funding for the state’s existing Medicaid program simply because the state fails to expand Medicaid as dictated by the Obama health care reform act, conservatives in the Mississippi Legislature and Gov. Phil Bryant found their opportunity to resist a major component of the legislation.
Republican leaders in both the executive and legislative branches of state government are on record opposing the Medicaid expansion for budgetary reasons. Bryant said funding a Medicaid expansion would require substantial budget cuts in education, transportation, corrections and other essential functions of state government.