Wednesday, June 06, 2007

PIP - RIP?

Rep. Bogdanoff's Latest Insurance Company Giveaway Hurts Us All
By Christian Chiari
 
State Representative Ellyn Bogdanoff has once again demonstrated that she favors a government in the dark on behalf of special interests and ideologues over open government on behalf of the people. This time her champion is none other than the insurance industry and its desire to do away with personal injury protection insurance (also known as PIP).
 
As highlighted in an editorial in a recent edition of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Rep. Bogdanoff's latest maneuver, designed to stall any attempts to renew the state's no-fault insurance law, will result in increased insurance company profits at the expense of taxpayer dollars.
 
For months now, I have been talking about Rep. Bogdanoff's preference for government in the dark on behalf of the special interests. And I am glad the Sun-Sentinel is putting Rep. Bogdanoff on notice that such abuse of our government will not go unnoticed or unchallenged.
 
With her actions to undermine PIP, Rep. Bogdanoff has pulled off a triple play against the people of Florida. She is managing to help big insurance, hurt average Floridians and pursue her policy of government in the dark all at the same time. For her and her insurance company friends, it's a good day. For the rest of us it's trouble.
 
By undermining efforts to reform PIP and instead allowing it sunset, Rep. Bogdanoff is ensuring that hospitals and taxpayers will be picking up the cost for uninsured motorists who are injured in an accident. The end of no-fault insurance will also add to the backlogs in our county courts by opening the system up to more frivolous lawsuits.  Without fault any one involved in an accident will be able to sue. These costs have hospitals and our courts concerned that they will not be able to provide the services we need. Meanwhile, local governments, whose budgets are already stretched to the limit, will be forced to pass costs of maintaining these services on to the taxpayer.
 
Because injured workers traditionally recovered lost wages under PIP, Rep. Bogdanoff's actions will put further stress on our local economy and on family budgets that are already strained by the rising cost of living in South Florida.
 
Bogdanoff's latest trick demonstrates her allegiance to the insurance industry. The Sun-Sentinel was right on point when its editorial accused her of "carrying water for the special interests." But by carrying water for the insurance companies, Rep. Bogdanoff  is leaving the rest of us high and dry.
 
By putting up obstacles to the real PIP reform that we need, Rep. Bogdanoff is ensuring the death of no-fault insurance and personal injury protection insurance in the state. It's just a sneaky way to give the insurance companies what they want.
 
It is a shame that with so many other legislative priorities this year, Rep. Bogdanoff chose to spend her time further obstructing the legislative process.

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