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Hospital Coalition Says Governor's No-Fault Bill Signing Provides a 'Great Protection' for Florida Consumers
Date:10/11/2007

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Oct. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Florida's hospitals and the Coalition to Protect Florida's Drivers lauded Governor Charlie Crist for signing a bill today to restore no-fault auto insurance, calling it a "great protection" for all consumers, especially those injured in auto accidents.

Governor Crist's signing into law of CS/HB 13C means Florida's no-fault auto insurance system, and mandatory Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, will be restored on January 1, 2008. Until then, all Florida motorists are still required to carry mandatory Property Damage (PD) coverage, which will continue to be strictly enforced.

Today, 40 percent of all car crash victims in Florida who are treated at hospital emergency rooms have no health insurance and, for many, PIP is their only coverage. By extending no-fault and mandatory PIP, Governor Crist and the Legislature have assured that all motorists will be required to carry some medical coverage if hurt in a crash.

"PIP is a great protection for Floridians, especially because one in every four people under the age of 65 in our state have absolutely no health insurance," said Wayne NeSmith, President of the Florida Hospital Association and a Coalition leader.

Additionally, the restoration of PIP means that Florida's fragile trauma care network and emergency room physicians will be assured of some reimbursement for treating victims of car crashes.

"Florida's trauma care network today is struggling from a shortage of emergency care specialists and from the financial burden of providing billions of dollars in care annually to people who either cannot or will not pay for their treatment," said Tony Carvalho, President of the Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida and another Coalition leader. "Restoring PIP helps Florida's trauma centers to carry out their crucial, life-saving mission."

Meanwhile, restoring the no-fault system means that Floridians will face fewer uninsured motorist
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SOURCE Florida Hospital Association; Safety Net Hospital Allianceof
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