Florida Legislators Vote to Keep Their Health Insurance Just $360 a Year
Despite being one of the richest men in Florida, Governor Rick Scott pays just $360 a year for tax payer subsidized health insurance. That's the same special rate paid by state legislators to cover their entire family. Legislators who only cover themselves pay just $180. Meanwhile, rank and file state workers pay five to six times more than that for access to the same plan.
A Florida senator introduced a measure to raise these low insurance premiums rates, but the amendment was easily defeated.
Sen. Joe Negron, R-Negron, introduced an amendment in the Senate's Budge Committee that would raise the premiums paid by lawmakers to match that of other state workers. Premiums to cover an entire family would rise from $30 to $180 a month. Premiums to cover just an individual would rise from $15 to $50 a month.
"I can see no rationale whatsoever why we as legislators get treated five to six times better than 27,000 of our coworkers," Negron said to the committee according to Naked Politics.
The other members of the committee apparently did see a rationale, because members from both the Republican and Democratic party spoke out about the amendment.
Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Ft. Lauderdale, argued that the higher rates would dissuade people who aren't already wealthy or retired from running for officer. Though, legislators are allowed to have other jobs, and their duty in Tallahassee is only part time.
In the end, committee chair Sen. JD Alexander, R-Lake Wales, decided that the amendment wouldn't pass and buried it without bringing it to an official roll-call vote. That has the politically convenient side effect of leaving any official vote off the record.