Hallman’s Rants: Big Government Republicans at it again
By: John Hallman
Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater wants to BAN lawyer referral services, like the ads you probably have seen on TV, for example; 1-800-Ask-Gary. This referral business operates by having people in car accidents call this referral service and they then refer an attorney that they have a referral fee agreement with. I know what you are thinking, “this is just creepy ambulance chasing” and the usual populist response is “why there should be a law”. CFO Atwater is saying there is a network of referral services tied to lawyers and pain clinics to extract quick insurance settlements and (here is the nasty word) make a PROFIT! Atwater says this is fraud and driving up the cost of insurance. I may be wrong, but operating a referral business is not necessarily fraudulent, it is a service, if I have an accident that is not my fault, and I sustain some possible injuries and instead of going home and flipping through the yellow pages for an attorney and possibly a pain clinic, I can just make one phone call to “Gary” and have a lawyer referred to me.
Doesn’t that make my life easier, what is wrong with that? Now, if the pain clinic is producing a fake medical diagnosis, then that is fraud and should be stopped. I do believe it is the proper role of government to stop fraud, but as usual Big Government Republicans want to through a big blanket over a particular business and have the force of government kill any chance of someone making a living. I am sick and tired of this Republican grandstanding ”I am looking out for you”!
A referral service can be a legitimate way to make a living, if there is suspicion of fraud, then investigate case by case, fraud can exist in any business, not just referral services. Hey, Mr. Atwater, how about going after the fraud and corruption in the Florida Legislature and the Republican Party of Florida!