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Auto insurance group strokes $100k check to Rick Scott as he pushes PIP, bashes ‘special interests’

On Wednesday, when it wasn’t clear if the Legislature would give Gov. Rick Scott a win and overhaul Personal Injury Protection auto insurance to his liking, one thing was certain in the state Capitol: The auto insurance industry was very happy with Scott.

United Group Underwriters, an affiliate of United Automobile Insurance Company, gave $100,000 to Scott’s Let’s Get to Work political committee. At the same time, Scott was preparing to bash the Senate’s PIP bill it passed Wednesday, which mandated rate reductions and wasn’t as strict as a House measure.

Scott said the Senate bill didn’t do enough to reduce fraud – words echoed by the dozens of lobbyists representing the industry.

Said Scott: “The Senate bill seems like it’s been written by special interests.”

At the same time, the other special interests were writing Scott his big check. It accounts for about a third of the $317,000 Scott has raised since the beginning of the year. Since January 2011, Scott has pulled in a total of $774,751. Some of the biggest contributions came from some of the biggest players in the just-ended legislative session: Miguel B Fernandez ($125,000), Florida Optometric CCE ($100,000), Florida Retail Federation ($100,000), and Florida Association of Insurance Agent ($50,000).

Scott’s supporters, like any politician collecting big checks, says his contributors aren’t buying him – instead, they’re buying his agenda. Scott set out early this year to overhaul PIP, which the auto-insurance industry has sought for years.

In the waning days, Scott, his staff and Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll worked the Senate and got just enough votes to back a compromise bill that passed Friday out of the Legislature

“This is a triumphant moment for the residents of Florida,” Scott said in a written statement after the bill passed. “Members of the legislature heard our call to put Floridians ahead of special interests and combat the fraud that has become a billion dollar tax on drivers.”

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luis

THE NEW PIP REFORM 2012 LAW, THE BIGGEST FRAUD OF ALL ON THE FLORIDA CITIZEN BY THE INSURANCE LOBBY MACHINE
WOW - the newly passed PIP reform HB 119 is the biggest fraud of all on the Florida citizen. Instead of going after the fraudsters (as they promised), they passed “PIP REFORM” decreasing citizen medical benefits, access and choice…and the poor citizen gets to pay the same high premiums.
Here’s what happened (read it yourself at HB 119):
• The insurance companies can continue to charge the same high premiums, BUT the citizen only gets $2,500 in medical benefits instead of the previous $10,000 - unless they’re severely injured, good luck with only $10,000 on that one.
• Instead of going after the true fraudsters (as they promised and should have done), the insurance lobby went after the Florida citizen.
• The insurance companies will make record, record profits (as they always make…year in, year out) off this law. Same high premiums, 75% less benefits ($2,500 versus previous $10,000), you figure it out!
• The insurance companies have already started donating (paying back for their vote) money to the political cronies that voted for this travesty on the citizen - in the sum of millions of dollars.
This is “great for the Florida consumer,” says Gov. Scotty and his cronies…really???? WOW! Talk about crony corruption/capitalism, WOW!
WAKE UP Florida citizens/voters…these cronies didn’t go after PIP corruption (as they said they would and should have done – they just used that excuse to short-change the Florida citizen); they passed “PIP Reform” so that their insurance buddies can continue to make record profits.
Instead of passing true PIP reform by going after the real crooks (as they promised), they defrauded the Florida citizens by once again stealing their money in the biggest fraud of all – throw the crooks out!!!!!

Dr.D

Insurance companies know who is committing fraud out there. We, as honest Chiropractic Physicians provide the best service for musculo-skeletel injuries. It is embarassing that we are licensed Physicians in Florida at the same level as medical Doctors and Osteopaths. We go to school for 8-10 years, and under this new law we have been down-graded to 2nd class Physicians below a Physicians assistant and Nurse Practitioner (no disresect to them) who in a "normal" world would have to answer to us. Under this new law, they will make determinations on treatment, and they will determine treatment for the full 10K benefits. Emergency room visits, just for a couple of X-rays and blood pressure check up, cost the consumer between 4 and 10K. In my office, a patient can receive 6 months of treatment for way less than one emergency room visit,and the patient will be actually treated for their injuries. I wonder how these Senators would feel if all of a sudden, out of nowhere their jobs were taken away?
It's mind boggling that the largest punishment goes to Chiropractors.
This is blatant discrimination against our profession.
Are there crooks out there? Of course...and the insurance companies know who they are. Why can't they pass laws to further regulate the particular places where fraud is committed, and leave alone the honest Chiropractic Physicians that help so many people and pay such high taxes so the government can feed all the unemployed people in this state?

Dr Dave

The other day a patient came into my office with injuries from an MVA. She had gone to the hospital first. This lady had nothing more than sprain/strain type of injury and yet the hospital took a bunch of x-rays and charged her PIP insurance $9700. Now she has nothing left for the real therapy she needs. And Rick Scott says we (chiros) are the problem?

Frank

Rick Scott took food off my table. I have to use my credit cards to replace what he took away from me and my Diabetic child of 3. Pure SCUM!

Tricia

I just checked my policy renewal and my rates INCREASED by $45+ dollars PER MONTH and I have not changed anything in my policy or added any drivers or had any accidents. The rep I spoke to on the phone had the nerve to tell me it was due to some increase in claims in my area AND the state of Florida overall. So how is that decrease in rates working again??

Albert

Floridians are so stupid! They got what they asked for. He got in office by running against the President(duh)!

Auto Insurance

The solution to the majority of political scandals is more public involvement in politics. People these days just aren't that interested in knowing what our leaders are doing. We think we can't make a difference so why try?

waynedeer

Thank you for posting this article about an auto insurance group giving a man 100 thousand dollars. Do you know if this was an auto insurance company from edmonton? Where can I find more information on this story? Thank you for your help!

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