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State Workers' Insurance Still Skewed

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Gov. Rick Scott tried again this past legislative session to make all state employees pay the same amount for health insurance.

Part of Scott's campaign pledge was to bring state health insurance costs in line with the national average.

Scott proposed all state workers pay $50 for individual coverage or $180 for family coverage every month, saving the state about $43.4 million.

That's what rank-and-file state employees pay now.

But, nearly 25,000 high-ranking employees, legislators and their aides get a much better deal. They pay $8.34 for individual coverage or $30 for family.

The legislature didn't feel a need to change that this time around.

And that rated the governor a "promise stalled" from "PolitiFact Florida."

"I'm not sure I've heard a very specific rational," explained PolitiFact's Angie Holan. "They're just leaving it in place. Now, Scott has said he would like to change it but it wasn't one of his legislative priorities for 2013 and we didn't see any evidence that he lobbied or pressure lawmakers to make the change. So, that's why it's stalled on our "Scott-O-Meter."

The governor is also claiming  that the state has really cut down the number of state employees on the payroll since he's been governor.

When he signed the $74.1 billion budget, Scott said, "This budget also reflects the smallest state government work force per 1,000 residents in Florida in this century."

PolitiFact ruled that "mostly true."

"There are a few little details we should add," pointed out Holan. "First, there are a couple of different ways you could measure the state work force. You could look at federal labor statistic. But, the way he (Gov. Scott) used it seemed acceptable to us.  And, the other thing we would note is that the state work force, per capita, has been declining for years. So this is a trend that predated Rick Scott."