Meet Mississippi's new Insurance Commissioner
For over two years, Mississippi's Insurance Department, like other insurance departments across the country, has been working to implement its own health insurance exchange. A healthcare exchange would allow Mississippians to select health care plans from a group of plans eligible for federal subsidies.
The concept of healthcare exchanges is not new and has been promoted by left-wingers like former Governor Haley Barbour and the Heritage Foundation. As late as Wednesday, Commissioner Mike Chaney was spearheading an effort to bring a healthcare exchange to Mississippi.
Under pressure from the Mississippi Tea Party and "America's First Tea Party Governor" Phil Bryant, Commissioner Chaney has suddenly announced that Mississippi's exchange will be shelved until "after the November election."
This is the latest example of knee-jerk politics overwhelming sound public policy and the impact for the state could be severe. Under federal law, states that do not have an operational exchange by January 1, 2014 will have one provided for them by the federal government. If this were to happen, Mississippi would have missed an opportunity to tailor a program to our unique healthcare needs.
This appalling lack of political courage by Chaney has prompted some serious chest pounding by the Tea Party who, according to Y'all Politics, is circulating an e-mail titled "Under pressure from us, Chaney has surrendered". Indeed.