Fla. Gov. Responds to FPIC Decision

June 4, 2003

Florida Gov. Jeb Bush offered the following response to a decision by First Professionals Insurance Co. (FPIC).

“After reviewing our proposal for comprehensive medical liability reform, First Professionals Insurance Company, Inc. (FPIC) has formally committed to reducing rates for Florida healthcare providers by 20 percent if the reform package becomes law. FPIC is the state’s largest medical liability insurer, writing the vast majority of new policies. I applaud FPIC’s decision to become an active part of the solution.

“Our proposal works to provide predictability to our state’s volatile insurance market. Five years ago, more than 60 medical liability insurers wrote new policies for Florida doctors and hospitals, today that number is four. Doctors who can find adequate coverage, struggle to pay premiums that have risen as much as 400 percent in the last two years.

“As a result more and more Florida doctors are making the difficult decision to close or limit their practices due to the exorbitant cost of liability insurance and the unacceptable risk of operating without coverage. As they do, Floridians are at risk of losing quality healthcare when they need it most.

“FPIC’s decision confirms that our proposal is the right approach, and will ensure Floridians continue to have access to quality healthcare on demand. As we move ahead in a meaningful debate about our medical liability system, I remain hopeful that we will create comprehensive reform that improves the quality of medicine in Florida, and our access to it.”

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