JACKSON, Miss.--Mississippi, on the action of Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney, has accepted the implementation of state-run insurance exchanges. But, the Magnolia State's governor has a stance that may be more in line with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who told the feds his state would not be setting up its own exchanges.
Bryant told News Mississippi he was disappointed that the state has already decided to run its own exchanges, even though the consequences of not setting up the insurance market place databases would mean the feds would eventually do so.
The reason may be found in Jindal's reasoning that he believes Obama should make the exchanges more flexible and that the government should reform Medicaid and make it a more market-based program.
Mississippi's government is also trying to avoid expansion of the Medicaid roles. Bryant has said that adding the potential 300,000 new recipients that may qualify under Obama Care, would mean huge cuts to other programs like public safety and education.
"I have been against the expansion of Obama Care throughout the State of Mississippi," he said. "I believe the health care exchange is a portal for that. I'm worried about the federal government taking over that system."
Chaney has caught heat from the Mississippi Tea Party, Libertarians and other Republicans for what they considered a willingness to concede to Obama Care. Chaney said he sees it another way.
"As an elected official I took an oath to obey the laws of our state and this nation," he told a crowd in July at the Neshoba County Fair. "Exchanges are not the issue. The issue is who will run the exchanges, the state or the federal government."
Chaney said he believed it would be best to act as if Obama Care, which he repeatedly said he is against, is the law of the land and that would put Mississippi in a better position to have some control over its implementation.
Bryant, who has been called the first "Tea Party governor" in the state, said he is against anything that might aid in the expansion of the Medicaid roles.
"I worry about expanding a large entitlement program in the State of Mississippi through what was supposed to be a free market system in the insurance exchange."