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Hospitals and the Coalition to Protect Florida's Drivers Applaud Lawmakers for Reviving No-Fault Insurance
Date:10/5/2007

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Oct. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Florida drivers won a major victory today when the Legislature voted to reinstate the state's 36-year-old no-fault auto insurance law. The reformed law, which protects both people and property and fights fraud, passed both chambers with overwhelming support. The new changes in the no-fault system go into effect January 1, 2008.

The Coalition particularly applauded Senator Bill Posey and Representative Ellyn Bogdanoff for crafting a compromise that extends and reforms the no- fault system, and then working tenaciously to negotiate consensus among their colleagues. The group also commended Governor Charlie Crist, House Speaker Marco Rubio, and Senate President Ken Pruitt for their leadership in including no-fault in this week's special session.

"Despite their differences, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle recognize that no-fault insurance, with $10,000 in mandatory personal injury protection, is an important consumer protection and safety net for Florida's drivers," said Wayne NeSmith, president of the Florida Hospital Association and a Coalition leader. "With more than 700 auto accidents occurring each day in Florida, resulting in 376 injured persons, we are grateful that the Legislature came through for all Floridians today."

Today's vote by the Legislature means that Florida will avoid a surge in uninsured drivers; a spike in both health and auto insurance costs; a crisis in the auto insurance industry; and a new wave of costly and time-consuming lawsuits, as fault would have had to be determined in every accident. The law's extension also means that hospitals and trauma centers will avoid a serious financial impact that could total as much as $140 million for treating uninsured auto crash victims.

"Lawmakers did the right thing today by reenacting PIP," said Tony Carvalho, president of the Safety Net Hospital Alliance, also a Coalition member. "When you consider that one in four Floridians
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SOURCE Florida Hospital Association; Safety Net Hospital Allianceof
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