Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney talks about the Health Care bill

 

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — President Donald Trump got his first Congressional victory with the passage of a Health Care bill Thursday that would repeal Obamacare.

Some say it will be an uphill battle through the Senate and changes are likely

All of our Congressmen voted for the bill, except Representative Bennie Thompson.

Now it goes to the Senate, where Democrats say they’ll stop it and many Republicans say they want to change it.

“The bill that the House has passed still has a long way to go before it would become law and I don’t think it will become law in the form that it’s in today,” said Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney.

Chaney said 55,000 to 65,000 Mississippians are on the rolls for Obamacare– that’s less than 2 percent of the state population.

Congressman Thompson cited a different number in his statement to WJTV Friday.

“I oppose repeal of the ACA because of the destructive impact that Trumpcare will have such as higher premium costs, less coverage, a crushing age-tax, a weaker Medicare program, and gutting protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions. There are 77,000 people from the state of Mississippi who will lose their healthcare coverage if the ACA is repealed without an effective replacement. I am devoted to working with my colleagues in Congress because I want to do everything I can to ensure that our citizens have access to affordable, quality health care.”

“You have more flexibility on the state level,” Chaney said. “That’s good for us because we can offer benefits that won’t be offered at the state level.”

With the good, there’s also bad.

“The bad side would be that we don’t know what the wild card will be with Medicaid and the state has been trying to figure out a Medicaid method to fund Medicaid adequately in the state because it’s always an unfunded mandate that crops up at the end of the year.”

One in four Mississippians are on Medicaid. Living conditions and habits, like smoking, drinking and drug use — could also increase how much you pay.

Still, Chaney says Mississippi has the second-lowest insurance rates in the U.S. The bill as it is would also change how much you pay based on your age.

“So someone over 50 could pay five times as much someone who is 30 and the idea there is to get 30-year-old folks to buy insurance.”

As the Senate prepares to take up the bill, Senator Roger Wicker said in a statement , “The Senate has yet to debate the bill and make changes, but House passage sends a signal that we are prepared to act on behalf of the American people, who deserve health-care reform that produces real benefits in their lives.”

Senator Thad Cochran said in a statement, “I have voted consistently for legislation to repeal Obamacare. I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues on proposals that will be effective in reversing Obamacare.”

 

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