Perk up your ears, Florida legislators. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) reform needs to be the priority of the 2012 session.
Tampa Bay Online has weighed in with an excellent editorial that reflects what people in that metropolitan area feel about a situation that has gotten out of control.
“While the main purpose of the law is good — to ensure that medical bills are covered in a timely manner, and without litigation — the system has spawned an epidemic of fraud in Florida as breathtaking as the crack cocaine explosion of the 1980s,” the editorial states. (Read entire editorial here.)
“Motorists who pay little attention to such things should pay attention. You’re paying for all this. Insurance industry officials say the average ‘fraud tax,’ as it’s called, on Florida drivers was $48.62 per vehicle last year, meaning a family with two cars paid nearly $100,” the editorial states.
We told legislators the same things during the 2011 session and they promised action. However, the votes never materialized. Most PIP reform bills died in committee, others on the floor. The one or two that passed were watered down.
Why? Special interests. The editorial urges legislators to resist the same efforts to thwart PIP reform. “They must not buckle to the selfish interests of lawyers, clinic operators and others who are benefitting most from a flawed system rampant with fraud,” the editorial states.
The editorial commends Hillsborough County commissioners for cracking down on PIP fraud with the toughest ordinance in the state. We agree and go a step forward.
The law should be a model for all counties in Florida. Every county commission from Monroe to Escambia should adopt the same rules that, among other things, mandates having a physician on site and allows the county to deny or revoke a license for fraud-related reasons.
Thank you, Tampa Bay Online, for speaking up for all Florida drivers and trying to get the attention of our state legislators. Let’s hope that they listen.