For the second year, legislation has been filed regarding Direct Primary Care (DPC) agreements. A Direct Primary Care agreement gives Doctors a meaningful alternative to fee-for-service insurance billing, typically by charging patients a monthly, quarterly, or annual fee that covers all or most primary care services. Direct care benefits patients by providing substantial savings and more access to, and time with, physicians. Direct Primary Care agreements makes doctors responsive to patients, not insurance company bureaucrats or government rule-makers.
Because government bureaucrats do not like anything they can’t regulate and control, and big insurance companies do not like competition, there are attempts to define Direct Primary Care agreements as a form of insurance that would be under a mountain of regulations and bureaucratic red tape. This legislation would have protected direct patient/doctor agreements from burdensome government regulations by establishing in law that a Direct Primary Care agreement and the act of entering into such an agreement is not insurance and not subject to regulation under the Florida Insurance Code.
The Direct Primary Care bill (HB 161) passed unanimously through two committee stops and was passed by the House 107-6. The Senate companion bill (SB 240) also passed unanimously through four committee stops. With little to no opposition from legislators, it looked like Direct Primary Care legislation was sure to pass. Because the House had already sent HB 161 over to the Senate, all the Senate had to do was bring it to the floor for a final vote for passage. Unfortunately, SB 240 got caught up in the traditional horse trading between the House and Senate. Every session House and Senate leadership hold legislation hostage as a negotiating tool to get one their priorities passed. This is an ugly side of the legislative process; the Direct Care bill would have served Floridians well in receiving affordable health care and should not been used for political gamesmanship.
This legislation is too important and we will fight again next session to make it happen.
How can you do to help make sure Direct Care passes in the 2018 session?
1. Contact your state house and state senate representative and ask them to sponsor or co sponsor the Direct Care bill in the 2018 session. Make Sure your legislators hear from you about this issue. CLICK HERE to find your State House Representative and CLICK HERE to find your State Senator and let them know where you stand.
2. Become a Member of the Liberty First Network. We’re grossly outspent and outnumbered by government and quasi-government lobbyists, many of whom are there on our tax dollars. Help us make sure that your voice is represented in Tallahassee and become a member TODAY.
Contact Alex Snitker at (813) 315-0513 for more information on how to become a member of the Liberty First Network.