Scott, Cabinet OK health care forms despite claims they 'mislead'
An excerpt from a story in Wednesday's paper:
Gov. Rick Scott and the three-member Florida Cabinet have signed off on a controversial new disclosure form that critics say is intended to poison Floridians against the health care law.
The Florida Legislature passed a law requiring the form after Republicans argued that policyholders need to know how federal reforms will affect their premiums. Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater — all Republicans — on Tuesday approved the disclosure forms unanimously and with no debate.
In recent weeks, critics have said the forms are useless and any efforts to compare policies that comply with the health care law to those that don't is "fuzzy math."
"It's totally about politics, and, probably more importantly, it's an incredible waste of money," said Bill Newton, executive director of Florida Consumer Action Network, which supports the federal health care law.
Prior to a vote, Putnam referred to the Office of Insurance Regulation's report that said individual plans would have an average increase of 30 to 40 percent under the federal law. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has questioned those estimates.
"Across the country we have seen press announcements by state insurance commissioners that consistently indicate substantial increases in premiums to the consumer, especially in that individual market," Putnam said after the meeting.