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Struggling state-sponsored health insurance program is being managed by Tallahassee lobbyist

in Statewide by
Interesting report from Christine Jordan Sexton: A struggling state-sponsored health insurance program is being managed by Tallahassee lobbyist and political operative Lauren McCarthy, who receives $5,000 a month for part-time work. Meanwhile, state records still list her as representing private clients with ties to the health-care industry.

Florida Health Choices, planned as an insurance exchange for people seeking non-traditional, inexpensive benefits, hired McCarthy in late July to work for up to five months getting the organization set up.

McCarthy isn’t expected to work more than 20 hours a week for Health Choices although she may occasionally do so, said Board Chairman Aaron Bean, who championed the free-market experiment when he served in the House.

“It’s great money for a part time job,” he conceded, but quickly added, “So far, she has been a very professional person. She is getting the job done.”

As Health News Florida reported earlier this week, Florida Health Choices has not enrolled a single client yet, despite getting a green light and $1.5 million from state lawmakers in May 2008. Bean attributed the delays in part to slow appointments by the governor’s office. Full story here.

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.

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