State gives $1M aid to health overhaul call center

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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Gov. Phil Bryant rarely misses a chance to bash the federal healthcare overhaul. But Thursday, he announced the state is giving $1 million to a federal contractor that will hire 1,000 Mississippians to help implement it.

The Mississippi Development Authority is giving that amount to General Dynamics Corp. to help it build a call center in Hattiesburg to field questions about federal health insurance exchanges. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services confirmed to The Associated Press Thursday that employees would answer questions about subsidized health insurance purchased through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Bryant made the announcement Thursday in Hattiesburg without mentioning the tie to the health overhaul. Bryant torpedoed an attempt by Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney, a fellow Republican, to set up a state-run exchange.

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