Bryant, Chaney explain health exchange differences - - Jackson, MS

Bryant, Chaney explain health exchange differences

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Gov. Phil Bryant and Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney are making their positions clear on what impact a state run, online health care exchange could have on the state.

"Tax businesses destroy jobs and that's what I believe a state exchange will do," Bryant said earlier this week.

"We will forever give up our ability as a state to regulate health insurance in this state. Our authority is somewhat limited today. It will be totally gone if we succumb to the federal government," explained Chaney a little later on the MEC event in Jackson.

The new healthcare law says each state must have an exchange in place by January 2014. The federal government will create its own if the state has not implemented the exchange.

"If the federal government comes in and does that, I might not be able to stop them but the Supreme Court says that a state cannot be forced to expand Medicaid. If you establish a state exchange, that's exactly what's going to happen," Bryant said.

"If the federal government comes in and operates the exchange and the legislature does not expand Medicaid, the federal government will have the ability to take people off that exchange and add them to the Medicaid rolls and the state cannot do anything about it," Chaney said.

Bryant contends Chaney lacks the authority to submit a proposal on behalf of the state.

The U.S. Department of Human and Health services will make the decision, which could lead to another battle in court.

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