Bryant takes chance on health carePublished 12:07am Friday, October 25, 2013
For a man who was adamant the federal government shouldn’t poke its nose in Mississippi’s Medicaid program, Gov. Phil Bryant apparently sees no problem in throwing his own weight around on health care matters.
Tuesday, Bryant waded into the murky waters of a hospital vs. health insurance provider dispute, further blurring the lines on what is and what isn’t the state’s role in such matters.
Bryant issued an executive order demanding Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi reinstate 10 hospitals into its network. The private insurance company had ousted the hospitals, including Natchez Community Hospital, after the hospitals’ owners sued BCBS.
Time will tell if Bryant’s action was overstepping his bounds or if he was simply showing leadership in a situation in which few others were.
Clearly, the hospital company’s battle with BCBS had become nasty with propaganda and lobbying efforts attempting to sway public opinion.
If the company complies with the executive order, the peace will be restored for at least 60 days. During that time the Mississippi Department of Insurance will study BCBS’ ouster of the 10 hospitals and determine if the company violated state law by failing to provide reasonable access to care to its enrollees.
Bryant stands to be a hero or a goat in the situation. At least he had the guts to stand up and do something to potentially get the squabble moving forward.