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Tom Lee reintroduces two insurance-related bills for 2018 Session

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Republican state Sen. Tom Lee of Thonotosassa doesn’t give up easily. He has filed two bills that for the 2018 session that are essentially repeats of proposals that didn’t pass this year.

If enacted, SB 150 would eliminate the state requirement that would require motorists to carry $10,000 in personal injury protection. The 131-page measure would increase the minimum coverage requirement to $20,000 per individual and $40,000 per incident.

It updates the state’s no-fault insurance provisions that were enacted nearly 40 years ago to reflect inflation.

“The Senate has wrestled with this for 20 years,” Lee said. “From my perspective, it’s about adequacy of coverage.”

Lee also introduced SB 80, which would focus on direct primary care agreements between doctors and patients, employers or guardians. It would provide a system where physicians could receive a monthly retainer fee that would cover agreed-upon services.

“That’s a growing movement in this country,” Lee said. “The physician gets the ability to work directly with the patient and bypass the insurance bureaucracy.”

Lee said he was especially surprised and disappointed that the measure didn’t pass last year. He pulled it from the floor after last-minute amendments were added.

Joe Henderson has had a 45-year career in newspapers, including the last nearly 42 years at The Tampa Tribune. He covered a large variety of things, primarily in sports but also including hard news. The two intertwined in the decade-long search to bring Major League Baseball to the area. Henderson was also City Hall reporter for two years and covered all sides of the sales tax issue that ultimately led to the construction of Raymond James Stadium. He served as a full-time sports columnist for about 10 years before moving to the metro news columnist for the last 4 ½ years. Henderson has numerous local, state and national writing awards. He has been married to his wife, Elaine, for nearly 35 years and has two grown sons – Ben and Patrick.

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