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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Crist's office criticizes House insurance plan



The governor's office issued a harsh point-by-point critique Wednesday of Rep. Aaron Bean's proposal to expand health coverage to 3.8-million uninsured Floridians, as House resistance to Crist's plan emerges as a major problem for the governor's health agenda. The stepped-up criticism of the House by Crist's administration is a sharp departure in tone from a governor who likes a non-confrontational approach with lawmakers.

While the Senate is moving a bill that mirrors Crist's approach, the House plan is different, chiefly by the creation of a 15-member corporation to administer a program that relies on private insurers to sell new, low-cost policies at premiums starting at $150 a month. (The Crist plan would require oversight by existing agencies).

"The House 'Corporation' may lack expertise, and will include members that are likely to have significant conflicts of interest," said a five-page analysis prepared by the governor's office, adding: "The House plan raises significant consumer protections concerns" because it would allow unlicensed, out-of-state vendors to market insurance policies.

Crist's policy director, David Foy, who the governor describes as the Crist plan's author, was asked to describe his biggest concern with the House proposal. "I think lack of sunshine," Foy said. "I think it's unknown what these products and entities will look like."

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 10:50am]


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