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Fired-up Scott champions House PIP reform critics call anti-consumer

by Dara Kam | January 25th, 2012

A fired-up Gov. Rick Scott gave proponents of changes to the state’s no-fault insurance laws a lesson in politics, urging them to knock on lawmakers’ doors and let them have it.

Scott joined a crusade led by business industry leaders and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater pushing legislation intended to crack down on personal injury protection insurance fraud the governor said is costing Floridians $1 billion a year.

And today Scott came out in favor of the House’s PIP fix, that would require people injured in auto accidents to be treated in emergency rooms within 72 hours, cap attorneys’ fees and prohibit chiropractors or massage therapists from providing follow-up care.

“This is how laws get changed. Show up and let your legislators know what you want. You’re sick and tired of this $1 billion a year of fraud. You’re tired of it. You’re tired of scammers taking advantage of you. You’re tired of attorneys taking advantage of you. Enough is enough. We need to change this,” Scott told dozens of PIP reform advocates at a press conference on the fourth-floor rotunda in the Capitol. “Now. How do you do it? You do exactly what you’re doing here. You show up and then you go to everybody’s office.”

The press conference came on the heels of a House committee’s approval of HB 119. Proponents of the changes – including Scott – say they’re needed to cut back on fraud like staged auto accidents that are causing auto insurance premiums in some areas to skyrocket.

But critics of the House measure who favor a Senate version sponsored by Stuart Republican Joe Negron say the bill is anti-consumer because it limits consumers’ choices.

“This bill is the thing of consumers’ nightmares and of insurance bigwigs’ dreams,” Bill Newton, executive director of Florida Consumer Action Network, said in a statement.

Even with Scott’s support, the House bill, passed by the House Civil Justice Committee along partisan lines this morning, is in trouble, however. Even some GOP committee members said they can’t support the measure in its current form, setting the stage for an ongoing battle between doctors, chiropractors, massage therapists, insurers and attorneys.

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2 Responses to “Fired-up Scott champions House PIP reform critics call anti-consumer”

  1. mboy Says:

    I have to agree with the chiropractor thing,I think they have their place with massage therapists but as far as medicine it’s a scam.The only thing that gets an adjustment is the pocketbook

  2. Alternative Med User Says:

    The insurance companies and pro-hospital Governor are the ones perpetrating the scam here. I had been involved in a car crash several years ago and can attest to the need for chiropractic as a method of treatment. I went to my regular Dr the day after the wreck in excruciating back pain (pain did not appear immediately,but I heard it pop in the accident) I did not need to clog up the emergency room. And for two weeks of heavy narcotics the MD put me on, I didn’t get any better. The MD said “everything is in line”, which it certainly was not. I could no longer feel the three vertebrae between my shoulder blades, they were twisted. 6 months of chiropractic with physical therapy and massage therapy in his Chiro office is what saved me from life of Oxycodone dependence. I say don’t knock chiropractic until you’ve tried it…and don’t tell me from whom I can and can’t seek medical treatment!

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