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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Crist step kids to get taxpayer-funded insurance, like other Fla political leaders



Top Florida lawmakers are balking at Congress' plans to help more poor people get health care, though they've protected an entitlement of their own for years: free insurance premiums. Taxpayers have been stuck with covering the premiums — at an annual cost of about $45 million — even while lawmakers pledged to scrimp and save as they grappled with three straight years of budget shortfalls.

Florida doesn't limit the subsidies to statewide officeholders like Gov. Charlie Crist and Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, or to legislators like Senate President Jeff Atwater and House Speaker Larry Cretul. About 27,479 state employees — many of them high-level bureaucrats and political appointees — also get the break. So do their families.

(Story here)

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 1:07pm]


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