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Gov. Ron DeSantis

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Ron DeSantis vetoes two fee-creation bills from this year’s Session

“Imposition of fees would undercut (health care) efforts.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis shot down two more bills from the 2019 Legislative Session on Friday, related to proposed fees to be imposed on “telehealth” and importing drugs.

That brings the total of his first-year vetoes to four.

The latest bills the Republican Governor “withheld his approval” of were HB 7067 on “registration fees,” and HB 7073, on “permit and inspection fees.”

The first bill, which was linked to HB 23 on telehealth, requires the state’s Department of Health “or the applicable regulatory board to charge a $150 registration fee for out-of-state health care professionals seeking to provide health care services using telehealth to Florida residents,” according to a staff analysis.

Telehealth generally refers to using the internet and other technology to evaluate and provide health care to patients. “The bill also creates a biennial registration renewal fee of $150 for those providers,” the analysis adds.

The second bill, linked to HB 19 on allowing cheaper prescription drugs to be imported from Canada, authorizes the Board of Pharmacy and the Department of Business and Professional Regulation “to charge fees relating to the new permits” created to allow drug importation.

In a brief veto letter on both measures, DeSantis noted that HB 19 and HB 23 “provide a framework for Floridians to access more affordable prescription medication and to (use) the services of physicians via a cheaper and more convenient medium.

“With this in mind, the imposition of fees would undercut these efforts and would likely make administering the programs more cumbersome,” he added.

The two previous bills vetoed were HB 771, which would have pre-empted local bans on plastic straws, and HB 1417 on a Brevard County water district.

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