Insurance Commissioner and Blue Cross request Temporary Restrain - - Jackson, MS

Insurance Commissioner and Blue Cross request Temporary Restraining Order

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

A fight between Blue Cross and HMA has turned to a legal battle with the Governor. The insurance company is now seeking a temporary restraining order in federal court.

"The argument is the governor, through the issuance of the executive order, violated the constitutional rights of Blue Cross," explained David Kaufman, the attorney representing Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney has also wedged his way in. He filed a motion requesting to intervene in the lawsuit. His position sides with Blue Cross, in that he believes the Governor took over the authority of the insurance department. John Corlew represented Chaney in the courtroom.

"I'm not going to answer any questions. All our arguments are on paper filed with the court, we made with the court," said Corlew as he was leaving the courthouse.

But inside the courtroom, Corlew said it was Chaney who was elected by the people to regulate insurance matters, not Phil Bryant. He believes the executive order made it look like Chaney wasn't doing his job.

"He's got his job to faithfully perform the duties of the law and that's what he's doing," Corlew said about Chaney.

The state pointed to the joint legislative committee hearing that was held in September. They say those testimonies are part of the evidence of harm caused by placing the HMA hospitals out of network. Yet, Blue Cross argues that wasn't an official hearing.

"There's no basis whatsoever to issue the order. We were denied procedural and due process rights. Had no hearing," said Kaufman.

Still, the attorney for the state says federal court isn't the right place to argue whether the governor overstepped his authority.

Judge Henry Wingate plans to make a ruling on Monday. The reinstatement the Governor ordered is set to take place on Tuesday without the temporary restraining order.

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