As politicians in Washington debate alternatives to the Affordable Care Act, some state representatives hope to determine whether the current health care system has helped or hurt Mississippi.

On Thursday, the House Committee on Public Health unanimously approved a bill creating a study group to examine the impact of the Affordable Care Act since it took effect in 2014.

The bill directs four state agencies, the Division of Medicaid, the Insurance Department, the Mississippi Department of Human Services, and the Mississippi State Department of Health, to prepare the report by July 1.

“We need to have it as fast as this administration is moving. We can’t be unprepared,” said Rep. Chris Brown, R-Nettleton.

On Monday, President Donald Trump signed an executive order granting the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, the Department of the Treasury and the IRS the authority to roll back certain “economic and regulatory burdens” of the Affordable Care Act.

Democrats in Congress have expressed concern that such a move could ultimately destabilize the Affordable Care Act enough to require a repeal and replacement.

Brown said he hopes the House bill will give legislators an idea of what provisions need to stay — and which could potentially change.

“So if all of (the Affordable Care Act’s) requirements are gone, how will it impact us? It’s a broad spectrum of agencies that will be affected by a repeal,” Brown said.

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Larrison Campbell is a Greenville native who reports on politics with an emphasis on public health. She received a bachelor’s from Wesleyan University and a master’s from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.Larrison is a 2018 National Press Foundation fellow in public health, a 2019 Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Massachusetts fellow in health care reporting and a 2019 Center for Health Journalism National Fellow.