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Florida lawmakers fear insurance hikes under federal proposal

By Gina Jordan

Tallahassee, FL – President Barack Obama released his 2012 budget proposal this week. The $3.7-trillion dollar spending plan includes a tax on reinsurance premiums that has the attention of Florida lawmakers. Gina Jordan reports.

Insurers sell coverage to private citizens and businesses. Re-insurance companies provide coverage to insurers in case of a catastrophic event that requires a massive payout. Republican Rep. Jeff Brandes of St. Petersburg says if the tax on reinsurance premiums goes through, Floridians would pay some 400-million dollars more per year for the same coverage they receive today. So he has filed a memorial in the House urging Congress to stop it.

"So the people of Florida, through their representatives in the Legislature, can go on record as opposing the implementation of a federal tax that would so adversely impact every consumer."

An identical memorial has been filed in the state Senate, but the move is only symbolic since it has no bearing on federal action.