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ER immunity poses political quandary for GOP

Even as the GOP assails President Barack Obama's health care overhaul as a "government takeover," top Florida Republicans are pushing a measure that opponents say would do the same for the state's emergency rooms.

State Sen. John Thrasher, the Florida Republican Party chairman, is pushing legislation to make all emergency room health care providers — nurses, doctors and even paramedics — "agents of the state" and consequently immune from medical malpractice lawsuits.

The emergency room immunity is not part of the tort reform pact and still faces a tough journey at its next stop, the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee, which is nearly split on the legislation. The bill was expected to be heard Wednesday, but Thrasher didn't attend and time expired. He was at a presentation on the history of the murals in the House chamber at the time. More here.