The Mississippi “R” Factor Part 2

I’ve noticed that when solutions to this insurance mess are offered it is one political party that is doing the offering. Outside of a few Democrats like US Senator Christopher Dodd the Republican party is the overwhelming choice for discriminating big business and insurance political donors.

Such must certainly be the case here in Mississippi as we found this Clarion-Ledger story concerning Phil Bryant’s State Senate Insurance Committee most disturbing. Lt. Governor’s Bryant stated campaign goal of continuing the coastal rebuilding efforts certainly are taking a back seat to his service to monied insurance interests.

No Katrina-related insurance legislation will be taken up by the Senate Insurance Committee this year, chairman Sen. Eugene Clarke said Thursday.

Clarke, R-Hollandale, said he needed a year to get acclimated to leading the committee before passing any bills.

“I feel for people on the Gulf Coast, but we’ve got totally new leadership in both chambers,” he said.

Clarke’s decision has soured some Gulf Coast senators, though, who say nothing has been down two and a half years after Hurricane Katrina flattened the southern part of the state.

Sen. David Baria introduced seven pieces of insurance reform legislation this session, but he said Clarke told him Thursday they would all die in committee.

“It’s upsetting because this is the primary reason I decided to run for the Legislature – to do something about insurance,” said Baria, a freshman lawmaker who defeated Republican incumbent Sen. Scottie Cuevas in the November election.

“While I understand (Clarke) is new… we can’t wait any longer to do something about this issue.”

The two pieces of legislation the Bay St. Louis Democrat said he was most interested in seeing get to the floor included:

A bill to codify a premium payer’s Bill of Rights and attach it to policies, as well as include plain-language exclusions and eliminate concurrent cost exclusions. He filed two versions of the bill and one would prohibit insurance companies from contributing to anyone running for commissioner of the Department of Insurance.

A bill that would offer apply a premium reduction in the private sector to those who build a “fortified” home – similar to regulations under the so-called Windpool.

Clarke said he was going to spend the “off season” studying up on the legislation.

“We want to take care of consumers,” he said.

No offense to Senator Clark but if actually thinks anyone believes that load of dung he shoveled then I have some waterfront in the New Mexico I’d like to sell him.

The comments to the Clarion Ledger story tell that tale of Senator’s Clark’s continued study of an issue that is now almost 30 months old.

No offense to Sen. Clarke, but perhaps the Senate leadership should have asked him if he felt comfortable chairing a committee related to insurance issues BEFORE appointing him to chair the Senate Insurance Committee. I bet the beleagured folks on the Coast would have appreciated that. Why is it that after almost every article I read about our Legislature I find myself having to take deep breaths and rub my temples? I would hate to assume that he was placed there because he would be willing to block anything the insurance companies didn’t want becoming law.

or this one

Thanks Mr. Clarke! The coast gets shafted because you need on the job training.

Senator Clarke is doing as he is told which is why I place the blame for this inaction on his boss Lt Governor Bryant. The Mississippi Democrat party appears in complete disarray so I doubt they capitalize on the insurance “R” factor to score political gain. I hope everyone that supported Mr. Bryant and Mr. Chaney last November and who now pay much higher insurance are taking notes.


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