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AG: Insurance commissioner can set up health exchanges

Published 9:44pm Tuesday, January 15, 2013

JACKSON (AP) — Mississippi’s attorney general says state Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney has the authority to establish and manage a health insurance exchange.

Attorney General Jim Hood’s office late Tuesday backed Chaney’s stance that he has the authority to create the exchange. In a telephone interview, Chaney said he was encouraged by the opinion, but notes Gov. Phil Bryant may still try to block Chaney’s efforts. Bryant’s spokesman says the governor will continue to “resist efforts to further implement Obamacare.”

Exchanges are online marketplaces where people can shop for insurance. Under the federal health law that President Barack Obama signed in 2010, every state is required to set up an exchange. States that don’t create their own will have one run by Washington.

Both Chaney and Bryant are Republicans. Hood is a Democrat.