Governor DeSantis’s state of the state address focused on six core categories for policy advocacy for this year’s session. We've coved the economy, environment, and education. Now, let's focus on healthcare, social programs, and insurance reform.
First healthcare, Governor DeSantis stated the Trump administration is currently working with the state on the elimination of the regulations to allow for the importation of prescription drugs from Canada, which passed in last year’s session but required federal action to take effect. He also cited advancements in expanding telehealth options statewide. Regarding consumer price transparency to reduce health care costs he stated, "The ‘patient savings’ concept enacted last year was based on the idea that reducing health care costs requires (1) price transparency and (2) a way for patients who use information to save money." He stated the state’s implementation of new telehealth and transparency measures saved millions last year for state employees and that it should be expanded to plans statewide.
As for social programs/prolife measures, Governor DeSantis said Florida is building a culture of life with an emphasis on adoption. Part of this initiative has been to improve the processes for adoption and improve efficiencies with the Department of Children and Families. He stated DCF had a 32% improvement in adoption rates last year with the implementation of new reforms. Governor DeSantis also renewed the call for the Parental Consent bill which was the second agenda item he advocated for last year which didn’t pass. The parental consent bill would require minors to have parental consent prior to the performing of abortion in Florida.
Lastly, insurance reform. The governor stated last year’s assignment-of-benefits reform led to a reduction in property insurance rates for about 44,000 homeowners. He also cited an immediate 70% reduction in AOB related lawsuits. He emphasized the need to continue to improve the legal climate in Florida in favor of concrete injuries and victims and away from opportunities to game the system. He did not specifically call for additional reforms by name though a proposal exists to reform windshield insurance claims in Florida as well.
It’s now up to the state legislature, last year they enacted all but two of Governor DeSantis’s proposals. Will the governor’s still enhanced position and success within our state equal even greater success? Was last year’s successful push an outlier? We’ll wait, watch and bring you the information throughout the course of the session.
Photo by: Joe Raedle/Getty Images