Thursday, September 24, 2009

The public option

David Cay Johnston makes a great point.
When it comes to insurance our Congress applies two standards, separate and unequal, one for property and a lesser one for people.

Unlike people without health insurance, homeowners have access to public option flood insurance.

Even those who fail to take personal responsibility to buy insurance to protect their property can get benefits, thanks in good part to politicians who are leading opponents of public option healthcare. …

In Mississippi the relief for flooded buildings came with a requirement that owners buy flood insurance. It went further, requiring a covenant be added to their property deeds requiring the current and all future owners of that property to maintain public option flood insurance.

There is another word for that: government mandated insurance. …

Congress is so generous in its subsidies for property that the public option for flood insurance even covers property built in flood prone areas. And you can literally buy insurance on the day of a flood in some cases, and 1 day before in others.

Along the Gulf Coast, on the barrier islands on the Atlantic, in below-water expanses behind river levees and in desert communities plagued by flash floods, our federal government is there using tax dollars to help take care of damaged property.

But people? Providing a public option so people can buy health insurance through the federal government is "socialism," according to Senator John Kyl, the Republican senator from Arizona, a desert state where flash floods are as permanent a feature of reality as sickness and injury. Will someone ask Kyl why he favors what he calls socialist policies for property, but not people?

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