Friday, May 23, 2008

Would You Buy An Insurance Policy From This Guy?

The Hartford Courant has dropped an editorial hammer on soon to be Speaker of the House Chris Donovan’s baby, a deficient bill that would open Connecticut’s health insurance pool to municipalities, smaller businesses and non-profits.

Sean Matterson, chief of staff to New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, no shrinking violet when it comes to accepting state taxpayer handouts, claimed in a letter to a legislator that, far from saving his city $8.6 million, Donovan’s brainchild “would result in no savings from current costs.”

Having done the math, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton says, according to the Courant, the bill would cost his city $5 million. The folk who claimed Donovan’s insurance pool bill would save Danbury $2.8 million… er…“forgot to include retirees in their calculations, an astounding math mistake no self respecting insurance company concerned with getting and spending would make.”

Over in Massachussetts – formerly Taxachussets – few people have bought into the state’s new insurance pool arrangement, and two insurers that handle Connecticut state employees accounts have threatened to raise rates if Dovovan’s bill is passed. One company found a rate increase of $24 million necessary, and another refuses to guarantee that rates will not spike after a year under Donovan’s Folly has passed.

“Insurance companies,” The Courant avers, go to considerable length to calculate all possible risks before setting rates. The wonder is why the General Assembly didn’t do the same.”

A soft ball question.

Insurance companies are concerned with rates because they want to provide a product without losing paying customers. If the customer perceives that the rates are non-competitive, they will move their business to companies offering lower rates or better products, the company’s stock will suffer and soon it will be out of business.

States are different than companies. States “earn” their money through taxation, and there is very little connection between the product they provide and “customer dissatisfaction.” Even Courant columnist pickled in their Yale educations – McEnroe, Curry, Rennie, pick up your goddamn phone! – cannot be satisfied with the educational product the state has been offering to urban school children.

So, why aren’t those schools shut down?

Ah me, to ask the question is to open the door to a room full of rackets: the “yes there is a material connection between money spent on urban education and the educational product” racket, the “if voters don’t like the job done by their congressmen they can vote them out of office” racket, the …but why go on?

Suffice it to say that the same folk who cannot educate urban school children now want to craft the state’s insurance policies.

And they want to do it without reference to the reasonable consequence that would follow passage of the bill. But then, whenever have consequences gotten in the way of a legislator on the make in his tireless efforts to refashion the world according to some pipe dream that would be attractive to his constituents and cost them little or no effort?

The entire legislative year is a black mark on the escutcheon of the ruling party in the legislature.

The legislature, dominated by Democrats, had an opportunity to put away for life violent criminals on their way to committing a third violent felony. They passed on the opportunity.

The legislature had an opportunity to craft an ethics reform bill that would provide a serious sanction – denial of pensions – to ethical scofflaws. They passed on the opportunity.

And now the same “do nothing” legislature will be called back into special session to … can anyone guess? The boys and gals want to effectively raise taxes by reinstating a lapsing tax that was, when it was instituted, sold to the public as a temporary measure to meet a possible budget deficit.

This effort to further gouge the public should be regarded by reporters and editorial writers as a firm indication of Democrat Party priorities. It should also be regarded as an announcement, shouted from the rooftops, that Democrat leaders will discharge any future deficit by raising taxes. Democrat leaders in the legislature – the departing Speaker of the House Jim Amann and President Pro tem of the Senate Don Williams -- simply did not have the guts to further ruin the state prior to an election.

Once they are comfortably situated in their seats, post election, the posturing will cease, and they will trot out their usual bromides. In the offing: more taxes, more spending and more political jive talk.

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