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Invitation to Testify before the Select Committee on Affordable Health Care for Floridians

September 10, 2003

House Speaker Johnnie Byrd has formed the Select Committee on Affordable Health Care for Floridians and has asked Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) to help in identifying business people who are willing to testify before the committee.

The select committee is charged with the following tasks:

· examining current factors that affect the costs of health insurance

· identifying market barriers to change

· recommending policies to provide choice and competition in the marketplace

· recommending long and short-term approaches for controlling health insurance costs

· recommending policies to provide consumer information necessary for a successful, free-market environment

In addition to employers, the select committee is inviting a variety of other speakers (researchers, health care experts, etc.). Speakers who agree to testify will be scheduled in slots of 10 to 15 minutes during the first half of each four-hour public hearing. During the second half of each meeting, the floor will be opened to the public at large.

This is a rare and important opportunity for employers to educate members of the Legislature about the challenges - and successes - involved in obtaining quality health-care coverage for Florida employees, and to present ideas, suggest changes, and give input to the legislative process.

In addition to the House select committee, Gov. Jeb Bush has created the Task Force on Access to Affordable Health Insurance, which will be meeting across the state for the next several months. As soon as we have more information on the task force’s schedule as well as opportunities to participate in its work, we will contact you.

I would strongly urge all Floridians to monitor closely the work of both of these groups. They hold significant promise for reducing the numbers of uninsured by finding free-market solutions that will improve access to quality health care.

Select Committee Members:

Chairman: Frank Farkas (R-St. Petersburg) Ed Homan (R-Tampa)

Kim Berfield (R-Clearwater) Marcelo Llorente (R-Miami)

Don Brown (R-DeFuniak Springs) Dave Murzin (R-Pensacola)

Donna Clarke (R-Sarasota) Pat Patterson (R-DeLand)

Rene Garcia (R-Hialeah) Eleanor Sobel (D-Hollywood)

Dudley Goodlette (R-Naples) Baxter Troutman (R-Winter Haven)