The Mississippi Insurance Department will suspend the implementation of the Health Insurance Exchanges until after the November election. That is the report from the Clarion Ledger.
Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney sent a release stating, “Presently, we are far enough along in creating a free-market exchange, without provisions of the Affordable Care Act, that we do not have to make any final decision until after the November election, at which time we can make an intelligent and informed decision.”
Governor Phil Bryant is pleased with the announcement, also according to the Clarion Ledger.
Yall Politics posted an article this week outlining the state’s plan for implementing the exchanges, informing our readers of where Mississippi was in the process. Many of you were astounded by how far down the road the state actually was on the exchanges.
As we stated, Mississippi has received upwards of $20 million in federal funds to implement the exchanges, an effort required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Of that, word is some $11 million has been spent to date.
I still contend that Mississippi has gone too far not to implement some form of a Health Insurance Exchange given the federal dollars the state has already received and spent, that is unless the legislature is going to authorize the funds be repaid and that the Mississippi Comprehensive Health Insurance Risk Pool Association revert to its previous form, which I don’t see happening as it stands today.
Perhaps these would be good points for legislative leaders to explore in short order.
And again, taking federal dollars brings strings, strings that can easily be woven into a noose. The less federal funds the sovereign state of Mississippi accepts, the more control it has over its own affairs. As long as Mississippi continues to go to the well, such ideological conundrums as we’ve seen here will exist for Republicans and Democrats alike.
But for now, it seems these Health Insurance Exchanges will move to the back burner while the state and the courts wrestle with Obamacare’s other provisions, such as the expansion of Medicaid and privacy rights.