The Picayune Item
Chaney has been a longtime supporter of a health care exchange, long before President Barack Obama included the program in the Affordable Care Act and long before it became a political target of some Republicans, including Gov. Phil Bryant.
Chaney and Bryant squared off in a much publicized political battle over whether the state or the federal government should run Mississippi’s health care exchange.
Bryant, while railing against federal intrusion into state affairs, fought against a state-run exchange in favor of a federal exchange. His bet was that the federal government would fail to implement federally run exchanges in states that opted not to run their own exchange.
While Bryant won the battle against Chaney, he lost the bet. ...
Health care exchanges have enjoyed bipartisan support, originating as a Republican idea. But when they were included in Obamacare as a means of appeasing the insurance industry who originally fought against the health care reform, conservative groups began to target them as a supposed vehicle of allowing more federal control over state health care decisions.
Such an argument has always seemed ludicrous to us, that a state-run exchange could allow more federal intrusion than a federally run exchange.
Chaney has stayed above the political games as insurance commissioner. He’s been a steadfast representative of the people of Mississippi, jeopardizing his own political future and inviting criticism from his political base.
In doing so, Chaney has shown himself to be a leader of integrity and purpose.