Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Dad Was Right

If there is one thing I had drilled into my head by my Father when I was growing up it is the fact that insurance companies are the biggest crooks on the face of the earth and they have bought and paid for most politicians. He would ask me, “Tell me one thing that you can do and don't have to have insurance to do it”? Of course, I couldn't answer that question because there isn't. Meaning start a business, drive a car, buy a home, etc. The point always was that if you "must" have insurance to do things then if MUST be regulated. Only the problem comes when those doing the regulating (legislators) are owned by the regulated (insurance companies). Dad's words were going through my head the whole time I was reading this article, The insurance lobby's hold on the Legislature that was in the Statesman written by Alex Winslow is executive director of Texas Watch. Here are a few excerpts:
Recent reports by the Austin American-Statesman have confirmed a long-held suspicion: insurance companies financed the political operation of a prominent business lobbying group in 2002.
This group, the Texas Association of Business (TAB), is the target of an ongoing criminal investigation and is the defendant in numerous civil lawsuits arising from the group's political activities.
[and]

When they got to Austin, lawmakers found themselves in a quandary. Homeowners and doctors needed help, but the insurance companies who funded the drive that got them elected wanted to keep state regulations weak.
So the Legislature passed a half-baked insurance "reform" bill that years later still hasn't resulted in any meaningful rate relief for homeowners or drivers. We still pay exorbitant premiums that are more than twice the national average. In fact, Texans paid nearly $4 billion in insurance overcharges last year alone — an average of $600 per home and $200 per car. And State Farm, the state's largest homeowners insurer and one of TAB's biggest donors in 2002, has refused to lower its rates one penny.

As for the high medical liability premiums doctors were forced to pay, insurers used Texas doctors to push a proposal to strip Texans of their legal rights. Instead of cracking down on the very small number of doctors who commit the majority of medical errors and then forcing insurers to lower their rates accordingly, lawmakers chose the insurance industry's path. They enacted sweeping legal changes that shielded the insurance companies from responsibility, leaving untold numbers of Texans without any ability to hold an irresponsible doctor or hospital accountable for devastating, life-altering injuries.

The insurance companies' investment in an illegal campaign racket during the 2002 campaign has paid off handsomely. Now, three years later, they continue to reap huge dividends from that investment at the expense of policy-holders, who continue to pay too much, and patients, who are left with no real recourse against wrongdoers.
Has anyone's insurance costs gone down since 2002? All of this is just another benefit of one party government.

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