Chaney Criticizing Bryant Over Health Insurance Exchange

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Mississippi's insurance commissioner has sent Governor Phil Bryant a letter criticizing the governor for trying to block a state-run health insurance exchange the commissioner proposes.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the letter Friday. In it, Commissioner Mike Chaney says Bryant is handing control of a health exchange to the federal government, the opposite of what Bryant says he wants. Both are Republicans.

Exchanges are online marketplaces where people can buy insurance. Under the health law President Barack Obama signed, every state must have an exchange so people can get coverage starting in January 2014. States that don't create their own will have one run by Washington.

Bryant spokesman Mick Bullock says the governor stands by his position that Chaney lacks authority to create an exchange.