Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Scott, Cabinet sign off on forms outlining cost of health care law

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott and the three-member Florida Cabinet have signed off on a controversial new disclosure form that critics say is intended to posture Floridians against the health care law.

The state Legislature passed a law requiring the form after Republicans argued that policyholders need to know how federal reforms will affect their insurance premiums.

Gov. Rick 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 any effort 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 Affordable Care Act.

Before 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 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.

Florida has 3.5 million uninsured residents, many of whom may opt to enroll in health care exchanges to purchase coverage.

Individuals who earn between $11,490 and $45,960 will qualify for tax subsidies that could cover all or most of the cost of their premiums.

"It's misleading to show the insurance premiums without showing what the costs will be for consumers when you factor in the subsidies," said Ethan Rome, executive director of Health Care for America Now, an advocacy organization.

"It doesn't matter what the premiums are. It matters what you're going to pay."

Correction: Individuals who earn between $11,490 and $45,960 will qualify for tax subsidies that could cover all or most of the cost of their premiums in the new health care exchanges. An earlier version of this story had an incorrect salary range.

Scott, Cabinet sign off on forms outlining cost of health care law 08/06/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 7, 2013 9:08am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lightning edges Red Wings on road

    Lightning Strikes

    DETROIT — The digs were different, the Lightning seeing the masterfully-done new Little Caesar's Arena for the first time.

    Lightning center/Red Wings’ killer Tyler Johnson gets past defenseman Trevor Daley on his way to the first goal of the game.
  2. Armwood pulls away to defeat Plant 27-7, remain undefeated

    Footballpreps

    SEFFNER — First-year Armwood coach Evan Davis pulled out all the stops to get his team psyched for Monday's annual grudge match against Plant.

    Armwood defensive end Malcolm Lamar (97) gets fired up before the start of the game between Plant High School Panthers and the Armwood High School Hawks in Suffer, Fla. on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017.
  3. Clearwater police: Car thief dead after owner fires gun

    Crime

    CLEARWATER — One man is dead after the owner of a car fired shots at the thieves who were stealing it Monday night, police said.

  4. Iraqi forces sweep into Kirkuk, checking Kurdish independence drive

    World

    KIRKUK, Iraq — After weeks of threats and posturing, the Iraqi government began a military assault Monday to curb the independence drive by the nation's Kurdish minority, wresting oil fields and a contested city from separatists pushing to break away from Iraq.

    Iraqi security forces patrol Monday in Tuz Khormato, about 45 miles south of Kirkuk, a disputed city that the government seized in response to last month’s Kurdish vote for independence.
  5. Trump and McConnell strive for unity amid rising tensions

    National

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, tried to convey a sense of harmony Monday after months of private feuding that threatened to undermine their party's legislative push in the coming weeks to enact a sweeping tax cut.

    President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell field questions Monday in the Rose Garden of the White House. “We have been friends for a long time,” Trump said.