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GOP lawmakers defend bill that stripped state of insurance rate approval

Republican lawmakers are doubling down on their support of a bill passed this spring that removes the state's ability to regulate health insurance rates for two years. Here is an excerpt from the story in Tuesday's paper:

Republican lawmakers are fighting back against criticism that their hands-off approach to the federal health care law is leaving consumers vulnerable.

And they reject accusations that the law preventing the state from regulating health insurance rates for two years was based on faulty or misleading information.

"We had thorough hearings on it, the rationale for the bill was explained thoroughly during the committee process," said Rep. John Wood, R-Winter Haven, who sponsored the bill in the House.

Democrats and consumer groups raised red flags but were unable to dramatically alter Senate Bill 1842, which passed with most Democrats and just one Republican voting "no." Gov. Rick Scott signed it into law in May, but a recent PolitiFact ruling cast a spotlight on the bill.

PolitiFact pointed out that Florida had forfeited its ability to regulate rates for plans listed on the health exchange even though the federal government doesn't have the power to deny rate increases.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said last week that she was "baffled" by the state's actions. She said she didn't know of any others that relaxed their oversight because most states were beefing up insurance regulations.

Read more here.

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Redundant

"Florida state lawmakers, in their ongoing efforts to block the implementation of Obamacare in the Sunshine State, recently passed a law that will allow health insurance companies to gouge Floridians more than any corporate boss dreamed was possible." - Wendell Potter, Center For Public Integrity.

kevin Wright

Silly Republican law makers actually took Kathleen Rebellius and Obama at their word. These naive Republicans were told that the ACA was going to LOWER health care costs, and that rebates of overcharges were being mailed to consumers. Why get in the way of that?

In any event, the Federal Government now trumps Florida law in all matters. The Florida State Lawmakers have no more say in the matters of health care law, than they do in immigration law.

Let us say for grins, that Florida passed a law in this area. Pam Bondi would spend the rest of her days, hiring new lawyers trying to defend or reconcile Florida law, with a Federal law, that no one understands, no one reads, and is subject to unilateral edicts that re-write the Federal law, or extensively modify it in a manner that was never contemplated by the original ACA legislation.

If anybody here thinks that I am exaggerating the situation, I will remind everyone, that Arizona, copied FEDERAL LAW, and made it ARIZONA LAW, thinking, "how could this be wrong?" Instead, they got hauled into FEDERAL COURT, by the Obama Justice Department, and lost the FEDERAL CASE.

Just so you understand the dilemma, if Florida, in complete agreement with Federal LAW, cut, and pasted the legislation into Florida Law, and then tried to enforce it. Eric Holder would make a Federal case out of it, and Florida would FAIL in its good faith effort to enforce ACA. Why? Because arbitrariness and confusion gives the Federal Government more power.

Redundant

Mr. Wright - What Arizona Law and Federal Case are you talking about? You give no details just a broad rant about the ACA. Did you read the article. The Florida Legislature passed a law that "forfeited its ability to regulate rates for plans listed on the health exchange even though the federal government doesn't have the power to deny rate increases."
Remember the billions of dollars in federal aid this same legislature refused to accept to insure 1 million Floridians.

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