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Obamacare: States Without Full Government Support, No State Exchanges

Obamacare: States Without Full Government Support, No State Exchanges

stubbornbeliefEconintersect:  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has rejected an application for a state-based health insurance exchange for Mississippi under the PPACA (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare).  The application was submitted by the state Insurance Commissioner, Republican Mike Chaney.  It was opposed by the Republican governor Dewey Phillip Bryant.  HHS cited the opposition of the governor as the reason for the rejection.

Follow up:

According to LifeHealthPro:

To be successfully approved and to even work as a marketplace, a state-based exchange would need working relationships with other state agencies under the requirements of a state-based marketplace under the Act. Specifically, the application must show that “the Exchange has developed and documented a coordination strategy with other agencies” administering insurance affordability programs that enable the exchange to carry out the eligibility and enrollment activities.

With Bryant’s well-publicized refusal to work with HHS or Chaney, there was no possibility of coordinating strategy with other agencies under his authority, HHS concluded.

One might think that the actions of the governor would be along the lines of “I don’t like the game you are playing so I will take my bat and ball and go home.”  However, by U.S. law there will be insurance exchanges available in Mississippi because PPACA requires them to be set up by the federal government for all states not establishing their own exchanges.

What Gov. Bryant is doing is to abrogate any state input or control of health insurance exchanges to the federal government.  Such is the state of mind of some who feel Washington exercises too much control.

Here is Bryant’s reasoning (LifeHealthPro):

“I have said repeatedly that the health insurance exchanges mandated by ObamaCare are not free-market exchanges. Instead, they are a portal to a massive and unaffordable new federal entitlement program. They trigger new taxes on businesses and will ultimately drive more people onto Medicaid rolls. I firmly maintain my position that Mississippi will not willfully implement a mechanism that will compromise our state’s financial stability,” stated Gov. Bryant in response to the decision.

“Make no mistake, the federal government will control all exchanges established under the Affordable Care Act,” Bryant stated.

Similar situations exist in other states.  In Kansas Republican Governor Sam Brownback is opposing Republican state Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger (Kansas Health Institute).

In Missouri a ballot initiative was passed in November that prohibits state officials from helping carry out a state-based health insurance exchange, according to HealthLifePro.

For states like Mississippi and Kansas the possibility remains that ther may be some kind of state-federal partnership developed that will establish and run state-based exchanges.  That is not possible under the new Missouri law.

Some states, maybe up to half, could end up with federally run insurance exchanges, according to a report by GEI News last week.

Source: EconIntersect

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