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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Consumer group releases list of April Fool's



The Consumer Federation of the Southeast released a lengthy list of April Fools Wednesday, highlighting what it considers several shameful anti-consumer bills being pushed by telephone companies, health insurers, tobacco companie and electric utilities. On the list:

* The Florida Medical Association for its "sneaky legislation" to force insurers to pay the same rate for out-of-network doctors that they pay those who agree to lower their rates for a group plan. (HB 855)

Health insurance companies who want "bait and switch" by substituting lower cost drugs for name brances even if it means the lower-price brands are not recommended by a patient's doctor.

* Dosal Tobacco of Miami for "trying to pass itself off as a little 'mom and pop' business' when it is the third largest seller of cigarettes in Florida.

Credit card companies for raising their credit rates when consumers faced financial hardship. They gourp commends Sen. Charlie Justice and Rep. Maria Lorts Sachs for legislation (SB 772/HB 553) they have filed to prohibit the practice.

* Auto insurers who set rates based on a consumer's credit score, not driving record. They commend Sen. Ronda Storms and Rep. Priscilla Taylor for legislation (SB 1524/HB 683) to d outlaw this practice.

* Phone companies for pushing legislation (CS-SB 2626/CS-HB 1465) to deregulate phone rates and service.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 7:34pm]


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