ambulance_logo.jpgTALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ A consumer advocate is urging Florida insurance regulators to seek public comment on essential health care benefits under the federal Affordable Care Act.

Laura Goodhue, the consumer representative on the Florida Health Insurance Industry Advisory Board, made the appeal at the panel's meeting Thursday.

The board did not take public testimony on that aspect President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, but it plans to accept written comments.

The panel, though, did hear comment from representatives of a private health insurance group, the state agency that oversees Florida's Medicaid program and the conservative Heritage Foundation on other aspects of the health care law following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that upheld it.

States have flexibility to implement essential health benefits under the law. They include hospitalization, prescription drugs and emergency services.