Posts Tagged - ‘florida health insurance’

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Florida Individual Health Insurance Controversy Rages On

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Image: perpetualplum under CC 3.0

Months after national healthcare reform passed, it is still a hot topic during state election primaries. Florida is a case in point. As expected, Democratic candidate Alex Sink supports it. Lawton “Bud” Chiles, an independent, is ambivalent; he thinks the law should stand with some modifications.

One of the Republican contenders for governor, Bill McCollum, is best known as the attorney general behind the class-action lawsuit against the law, which over 20 states have joined. He contends that the provision that serves as a Florida individual health insurance mandate is unconstitutional, because it forces residents to purchase the product. Obviously, he is highlighting his opposition as a campaign talking point.

The other man in the race, Rick Scott, is also against the law. In the 1990s, he ran a hospital chain that was accused of Medicare fraud. More recently, he spent $5 million of his own money to defeat the legislation. Scott also wants “Obamacare” repealed. We will see what happens during the 2010 election primaries next month.

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Is The Govt. High Risk Health Insurance Plan Too Expensive?

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Image: Sam Felder under CC 3.0

It looks as if healthcare reform was not the immediate panacea for high-risk patients that many hoped for. The temporary health insurance pools for people with pre-existing conditions have started to go live.

The good news: many of those who have been previously shut out of the market can now purchase a health insurance plan. Unfortunately, that plan may be prohibitively expensive; according to the federal government’s website (HealthCare.gov). Depending on the state–since rates are based on standard premiums in the area–and the person’s age, premiums can vary widely. For example, Florida health insurance rates under the program could be up to $675 per month for a 50 year old!

Although guaranteed issue health insurance can be costly, it pays to shop around. The high-risk pools may not save you as much as you think.

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FL Gov. Charlie Crist Vetoes Money For Uninsured

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

Image: kwalk628 under CC 3.0

Florida Republican-turned-Independent Governor and Senate Candidate Charlie Crist just vetoed a bill that budgeted almost $10 billion for hospitals to care for the uninsured and under-insured. Recent figures show 27% of non-senior citizen residents lacking Florida health insurance.

He may believe that healthcare reform will reduce the need for uncompensated charity care, since more people will have insurance. In addition, his state has been hard hit by the real estate slump. Still, people are confused, because Crist appeared to have given up on the conservative Tea Party vote once he dropped out of the Republican primary.

This particular line item has been in the state’s budget for over 30 years, far before affordable health insurance reform was a gleam in Barack Obama’s eye, and has been relatively noncontroversial during that time. However, the political climate is very heated, especially in an area where the Attorney General (Bill McCollum) has famously launched a lawsuit against the Obama administration on constitutional grounds.

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Florida Will Participate in Federal High-Risk Health Insurance Plan

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Image: turtlemom4bacon under CC 3.0

Instead of using their own resources to create a new high-risk health insurance pool, Florida has elected to participate in the soon-to-be-created federal program.

Governor Charlie Crist cites the state’s budget crisis as his reasoning. He told Kathleen Sebelius that while he agrees that individual states should do their part, his state is simply unable to afford the establishment of a new Florida health insurance program at the moment. Crist is a Republican-turned-Independent candidate for the U.S. Senate.

Florida will receive approximately $351 million to subsidize its portion of the federally sponsored program intended for people with pre-existing conditions to buy health insurance plans.

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Health Insurance Mandate Will Be On FL Ballot

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Image: Skirsner under CC 3.0

Republicans in the Florida state legislature just passed a measure that will put healthcare reform on November’s ballot. The amendment would change the state constitution so that the state would be exempted from the health insurance mandate.

If passed by the voting public, the amendment will set the stage for the Supreme Court showdown Attorney General and candidate for governor Bill McCollum has been chomping at the bit for–he is spearheading the multi-state lawsuit that claims the mandate provision is unconstitutional. In order to mount an effective challenge, the federal government must be overreaching against specific state laws.

Even those who realize that the supremacy clause of the United States constitution will probably nullify their own amendment are thinking ahead: they are considering the possibility that Florida legislators in the future would consider similar reforms of health insurance plans. Cynics would claim that the ballot measure is an attempt to inspire more conservative turnout at the polls, especially for the heated Senate race.

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