By Joe Rutherford/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – State Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney affirmed his support Thursday of an insurance exchange for health coverage offered by private insurers through a program of choices administered by the state.
Chaney, speaking in Tupelo to the regional chapter of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisers at the Hilton Garden Inn, said he stands behind the concept under development – and supported by former Gov. Haley Barbour, Gov. Phil Bryant, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, and Speaker Philip Gunn, all Republicans.
Chaney, a Tupelo native, has come under fire from some Tea Party affiliates in Mississippi who charge that the exchange is supportive of the Affordable Care Act, better know as Obamacare, and widely despised by Republicans.
Chaney said the Affordable Care Act requires states to form exchanges, with the option of state-designed plans or plans eventually imposed by the federal government.
The Mississippi exchange, he repeatedly has said, “is designed by Mississippians for Mississippians” and our state’s health insurance market needs. He also notes, as he did again Thursday morning, that the profit for selling insurance through the exchange, goes to private-sector agents and the companies they represent.
Chaney said Barbour first raised the idea of an exchange before Obama was elected or the Affordable Care Act proposed.