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Sink, Florida Cabinet fed up with BP claims czar Feinberg

by Dara Kam | September 28th, 2010

Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink used an update this morning on Florida’s response to the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster to blast BP claims czar Ken Feinberg for paying too little, too late to Panhandle businesses and causing at least one company to close its doors.

“I’m kind of of the mind set that enough is enough,” Sink, the Democrat candidate for governor, said at this morning’s Cabinet meeting. “I don’t know about you all but I’m sick and tired of this. These desperate people through no fault of their own having to shut their business down? That’s horrendous!”

Sink said the owners of Harmony Beach Vacations in Destin sent her an e-mail yesterday telling her they were going out of business because their claim for lost revenues has languished under both BP and Feinberg, who took over the oil giant’s maligned claims process for individuals and businesses on Aug. 23.

Feinberg hasn’t yet responded to a letter Sink and Gov. Charlie Crist sent to Feinberg last week demanding that he revamp his claims process and appear before them at their next Cabinet meeting in two weeks, Sink said.

The other Cabinet members agreed with Sink.

Attorney General Bill McCollum, who said he was “cautiously optimistic” after meeting with Feinberg two weeks ago, said part of the problem is that Feinberg doesn’t have enough people making final decisions about the claims, which Feinberg disputed.

“This is ridiculous. It’s not just ridiculous, it hurts people. There are people hurting out there who will go out of business because theyr’e not getting their claims paid,” McCollum said today.

Sink suggested that the state should consider suing if the process doesn’t get better by the next Cabinet meeting on Oct. 12, although she acknowledged that litigation would probably delay payments even further.

Crist and McCollum seemed to agree.

“The inaction that’s occurring is untenable,” Crist said.

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6 Responses to “Sink, Florida Cabinet fed up with BP claims czar Feinberg”

  1. Jonathan Rice Says:

    If the GCCF is any indication of how Obama’s Health Plan is going to be run, this country is in some serious trouble. If this is how government operates, no wonder our government is in huge debt. Lets review the FACTS of what is now currently happening with Obama’s takeover of handling claims against BP and forming a government entity, the GCCF to handle the claims process.

    - The Government has set up and staffed 35 offices with adjusters. They are making around $450.00 a day plus per diem. So my guess is that BP is paying the company contracted to supply the adjusters around $800 a day for each adjuster. Through no fault of their own these adjusters can only assist you in filling out your claim. Once your initial claim is filed THEY CAN TELL YOU NOTHING ABOUT YOUR CLAIM. THEY CAN LOG ON TO THE INTERNET AND SEE THE SAME SCREEN AS YOU FROM HOME. I have been to local claims office twice in the past week. Both times I was the only person in the office. THERE WERE AT LEAST 5 OTHER ADJUSTERS + A POLICEMAN + A RECEIPTIONIST and they were all doing absolutely nothing! They COULD be working on the claims as they did for BP, but the Government says no. Why can’t they be working on the backlog of claims?

    – GCCF has set up a call center open 24/7 and staffed with god only knows how many people. You can even choose one of three languages to speak to a representative. Guess what? They can give you zero information concerning your claim. They can tell you only what you can find out from your own home computer, which is that your claim is under review. Why are we paying them to read the same computer screen back to us that we can se at home?

    My point is, all the money that is being wasted on idle staff goes against any model of efficiency. If the GCCF were a business they would have gone under during their first week.

    So if this is a look into the crystal ball of government healthcare reform I am truly nervous about the possibility of government intervention of the healthcare sector ruining what is already a fragile economy.

  2. Unreal Says:

    Suing doesn’t do anything for the businesses. They need to go back to Washington as a group with the other states and stand outside the White House until Obama agrees to force BP to fund each state its anticipated losses, and let the states pay out to claimants.
    This was their first suggestion to Obama, but of course he had to protect BP and put a lawyer in charge of the program.
    If you want anything messed up, just throw a lawyer or two into it.

  3. Redduke Says:

    This is Government at it’s finest. Jonathan, I agree. We haven’t seen anything yet. Wait till the retired on Medicare start getting claims denied or get treated like they were in an old fashioned HMO.

    As for the claims, the money is there. BP gladly handed the process over to the government. The Government failed by not forcing them to step up and service those claims. Interesting that the Government failed to step in on the actual spill but is there to step in where it doesn’t belong.

    Does everyone realize that by forcing BP to fund a $20 Bil fund, the Federal Government lost out on $154 Million in tax revenues? The Government is inept and as long as we give them more power over our lives the worse it will get for us and our children.

  4. Sink Crist and McCollum have lost billions of our dollars Says:

    UPDATE: GOP officials appear to be linking Attorney General Bill McCollum to billions of dollars in losses – to the state pension fund during the 2008 financial meltdown.

    McCollum has steadfastly refused to join other GOP elected officials in their support for Rick Scott, who defeated the attorney general in the August GOP governor’s race primary.

    The Republican Party of Florida paid for a series of ads attacking Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, the Democrat nominee for governor, for her role in the pension fund losses.

    “Under current oversight, the fund has lost billions upon billions – and now Alex Sink is actually running ads on her questionable record overseeing SBA,” RPOF spokesman Dan Conston said in an e-mail in response to a reaction to McCollum’s pointed questioning yesterday to refute recent reports that the State Board of Administration made risky investments that endangered the pension fund.

  5. Cara Dee Says:

    How did this reduce to a Scott love fest? What has this got to do with healthcare reform? For GODS sake, let it WORK before you take it away from us! inaction by the GOP has forced us to lose much because of our fine, expensive health insurance that can refuse to pay when they see fit. THANK you GOD for forcing this change though. Like anything else, children dont know what is good for them til they are spoon fed.

  6. Agg revated Says:

    Fire Feinberg and the GCCF. It is impossible to get a straight answer from Gccf. The people that answer the phones never know anything and the people that are actually working your claim can never be contacted.
    Repeatedly, gccf lies. They consistantly deny legitimate claims.
    What kind of a bonus is Feinberg getting for denying struggling victims of the Gulf Coast? Does he get to keep the left over money from the fund?
    Fire Feinberg

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