House PIP bill passes first test, still long way to go

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A bill backers say is needed to stop fraud and lower costs in the state’s no-fault automobile insurance market passed another test Wednesday but not before it became evident that issues such as capping attorney fees, requiring doctors to testify under oath and limiting initial access to emergency rooms is splitting Republican members, a fracturing that could easily scuttle the bill, reports the News Service of Florida. By a largely party line vote, the House Civil Justice Subcommittee approved the measure, HB 119, which makes a number of changes to the state’s system of personal injury protection insurance, or PIP. But even Republican members of the committee say they cannot support the measure in its current form, foreshadowing an upcoming battle pitting medical providers, insurers and attorneys and political party members against each other.

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.