Company headed by Florida GOP’s finance chair files for bankruptcy

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From the party of fiscal restraint and “running government like a business” comes news that Universal Health Care Group, the Saint Petersburg-based health care insurance holding company led by Florida GOP finance chair Akshay “AK” Desai, has declared bankruptcy.

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation referred Universal Health Care Inc. and Universal Health Care Insurance Co. Inc. to the Department of Financial Services’ Division of Rehabilitation and Liquidation to initiate receivership. A spokeswoman for DFS said in an email that the company consented to the move. A hearing will be scheduled, likely in several weeks, when the company will have the opportunity to demonstrate in court why it should not be placed in receivership, the spokeswoman said.

Desai told the reporters that the state action and the company’s bankruptcy filing are two separate actions that have no impact on each other.

Universal will continue to operate while it negotiates with its lenders and proposes a reorganization, a statement said. Chapter 11 provides an automatic stay that protects a company from collection efforts and lawsuits.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.