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Rep. Moak on panel to review insurance

A Lincoln County lawmaker has been appointed to a special Housecommittee to review and make recommendations on the state’s medicalmalpractice insurance rates and related issues.

Dist. 53 Rep. Bobby Moak was named to the Select Committee onAccessible and Affordable Medical Malpractice Insurance Wednesdayby new Speaker of the House Billy McCoy. Select committees areformed to address specific public policy issues and developlegislation for consideration by the full legislature.

Moak said he was proud to serve on the panel. He anticipated thecommittee would move quickly in developing recommendations.

“I would suspect we’d try to gear up and get something going asfast as we can,” Moak said.

Moak said the panel would likely look at health care insurancepremiums both statewide and nationally. In addition to health carecosts, the representative said the panel will take a deeper look atlegal costs including lawsuit defense.

“That’s one of the charges that has been given to us,” Moaksaid.

Moak, a plaintiffs attorney, said he was unsure what his rolewould be in discussing legal defense. However, the panel alsoincludes two doctors, lawyers, an undertaker, businessmen andothers.

“It’s going to be some folks from all sides,” Moak said.

Moak said the panel Reps. Steve Holland and Ed Blackmon areco-chairmen of the committee.

In other committee action, Dist. 39 Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith wasappointed by Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck to a special Senate committee toreview the contested District 29 Senate race in Hinds County.

In that race, Democrat Dewayne Thomas was certified the winner.However, incumbent Sen. Richard White, R-Terry, has cited ballotconcerns in challenging the outcome.

”Basically, this is a fact-finding committee. We’re going tohear testimony and make a recommendation to the Senate,”Hyde-Smith told the Associated Press.

The committee met Wednesday but no decision was made.

Moak said appointments to standing committees had not been made.Mentioning the creation of several new House committees, heexpected that could happen sometime next week.

“We’re all completing our committee assignment forms for whatcommittees we’d like to be on,” Moak said.