Governor Tate Reeves on Wednesday vetoed two pieces of legislation involving health insurance rates and a process to determine insurance coverage.
The governor waived Senate Bill 2224, which would have given the Mississippi Insurance Commission the authority to set insurance rates, instead of allowing private insurance companies to set costs. He sees this as a form of government overreach in an attempt to spite the free market.
“The first one would basically give the Insurance Commission the ability to set rates for all health insurance. They can massively fine private insurance if they aren’t ‘equitable’ enough,” Reeves contended. “It’s not what you expect in Mississippi, but that’s why we read every bill closely!”
Reeves also waived Senate Bill 2622, known as the Prior Authorization Reform Act, which would have determined if the cost of a certain medical procedure, service, or medication is covered by an insurance plan.
Though the governor is not against the spirit of the idea, he disagrees with certain elements that grant more authority to insurance administrative bodies and potentially increase the cost of Medicaid coverage, and healthcare in general, in the state.
“The bill has a number of technical components. These include administrative hearings that are in an incorrect place, increased costs for Medicaid, and other issues that cause me not to be comfortable signing it. But I am hopeful that we can get a better bill done soon,” Reeves added. “Good folks can sometimes let bad things past the goalie, and we’re the last stop before disastrous consequences like massively increased healthcare costs.”
Reeves says he is open to modifying the Prior Authorization process but is not in favor of the legislation as currently drafted.