I count myself as a lucky guy this morning as a very busy day is still ahead for me and I really don’t have the time to write a comprehensive post on yesterday’s insurance roundtable sponsored by Senator Wicker and his staff. I’m lucky because Anita Lee was also there and she did a fantastic job reporting the events. Before I chime in with a bit of analysis and a personal touch let’s visit with Anita:
Frustrated by Senate inaction, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker stepped up his role in the coastal insurance debate Thursday, hosting an insurance forum that presented ideas for an overhaul of the National Flood Insurance Program that were new to the audience.
Approaches to insure against catastrophic risk varied, but two thoughts appeared universal: The current insurance system does not work for low-frequency, high-severity events such as Hurricane Katrina, and property owners can expect a stable and affordable insurance market only if they fortify their homes against hurricane damage.
Wicker said after the forum he hopes to build momentum for a Senate hearing on comprehensive coverage for catastrophic events. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., has not followed through on promises that the Banking Committee he chairs will hold a hearing on the issue.
Mentioning Chris Dodd here on Slabbed is like featuring Loyola Law Professor Dane Ciolino as it represents red meat for the slabbed nation. Luckily for everyone, the good people in Connecticut agree with our assessment as Dodd’s poor poll numbers spelled doom for any chance at re-election so he retires this year, no doubt to the revolving door. Continue reading “Anita Lee covers Senator Wicker’s Insurance Roundtable. Slabbed adds a bit of analysis.”
Just to show you guys we’re not complete hicks how about I strike up some Yeats and bid a hale and hearty Mississippi coast welcome to Lloyd Dixon, Greg Toczydlowski, Howard Kunrether and Erwann Michel-Kerjan.
THE SECOND COMING
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand. Continue reading “Slabbed welcomes our insurance industry visitors coming for Senator Wicker’s insurance forum.”
Representative Barney Frank is one of those Democrats that has been demonized by right wing ideologues for years so it is not surprising the man is so roundly hated in the Gulf South. One of the first openly gay members of Congress, Representative Frank has been a convenient target for the social-tolerance challenged souls that make up the right-wing of the GOP. He has also gone out of his way trying to help the people of the Gulf Coast by tirelessly championing Gene Taylor’s multiperil bill HR 1264 in the US House of Representatives. From our perspective here at Slabbed he is also his own man, one of a group of congressmen that is not owned by special interests and despite the importance of the committee Frank chairs to the Wall Street crowd he stands in stark contrast to soon to be former $enator ¢hris Dodd who is wholly owned by Wall Street interests. It is from that perspective that I write this post which includes some insight from our sources in the capitol along with some conjecture from the Slabbed editorial board. Let’s begin with this Arthur Postal report from the National Underwriter:
Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, wants another House committee to take jurisdiction over the troubled and controversial National Flood Insurance Program.
A spokesman for the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) voiced “skepticism” over Mr. Frank’s comments, saying he doesn’t see how “switching committee jurisdictions will adequately address the underlying problem, which is that Congress needs to set for itself a reasonable schedule to consider a comprehensive NFIP reform bill that includes a five-year reauthorization.” Continue reading “Catching up with the news. Barney Frank threatens the NFIP with the nuclear option. Slabbed provides the analysis.”
TAYLOR, DEFAZIO, WELCH, STUPAK URGE SPEAKER TO REVOKE ANTI-TRUST EXEMPTIONS FOR HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANIES
WASHINGTON, DC – Reps. Gene Taylor (D-MS) Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Peter Welch (D-VT), and Bart Stupak (D-MI) today sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi urging her to include language in the health reform bill that would require the health insurance industry to operate under the same anti-trust laws as all other industries.
“Insurance companies should not be above the law.” Rep. Taylor stated. “While this effort applies only to health insurance, Congress should follow up and repeal the antitrust exemption for all lines of insurance.”
The health insurance industry–as well as all other lines of insurance–has operated beyond the reach of America’s anti-trust laws since the McCarran-Ferguson Act was passed by Congress in 1945. This exemption was intended to be temporary, but it has not turned out that way. The insurance industry claims that are currently subject to state anti-trust laws. The truth is many states have limited resources to investigate and go after anti-trust violations.
Repealing the antiquated McCarran-Ferguson law would effectively end insurance company collusion and bring much-needed competition to the industry. The Consumer Federation of America has said that this action alone would save consumers more than $40 billion in insurance premiums.
The letter, also signed by Reps. John W. Olver, Daniel Lipinski, Pete Visclosky, Raul Grijalva, Betty Sutton, Elijah E. Cummings, Dennis Kucinich, Eric Massa, Earl Blumenauer, Brian Baird and Bob Filner, is available below: Continue reading “BREAKING: Gene Taylor Joins 14 Other US Representatives Urging Speaker Pelosi to Revoke the Anti-Trust Exemptions for Health Insurance Companies”
Meeting over! Sop sent link to Billy Bova’s Twitter feed for more observations about meeting – http://twitter.com/endmoronism
Sop starting to post updates in comments on blog – check comments!
how about adding latest news from the top?
Sop reports crowd with Gene on insurance. A lady in the crowd “not everyone can afford insurance with lost jobs…crowd “boo”…Gene says he doesn’t support the health insurance legislation…gets Standing O for the remark…asked if he would support compromise…that we already spend a lot on health care
Post #2 began here:
Sop’s report has changed over the last 5 or so minutes.
Gene discussing national defense…
Crowd very well behaved…
<teabagger making idiot of himself>
Gene not backing down…
Crowd chanting health care…
Police gathering in their own confab…
Positioning to throw idiots out…
GOP guy making polite point about health care…Medicaid fraud…
Officer tells idiot to shut up…
Woman giving the crowd what for the mess is from both parties…(adding picture to other post)
Crowd responding well to Gene on anti trust…he tells them we need insurance reform…
Still a couple of loudmouths out there, though…
Tune in around 5:30 today as Nowdy will be posting my pictures and real time reports from the meeting which promises to be very interesting.
It is my hope the crowd, be it the most conservative, liberal and all in between that attend will ask questions and voice their opinions respectfully. Our ability to exhibit tolerance and respect differences of opinion is what makes this country great. After all, God blesses all Americans – conservative, liberal and everyone in between.
What a better way to remind the public about Mr Chaney’s upcoming insurance forum than to feature a warmup article about the massive pogey spill in the Mississippi sound and its accompanying pool of floating dead fish. Al Jones at the Sun Herald has the story:
Nearly half a million dead pogies were adrift Tuesday off Long Beach and Pass Christian.
An accident involving two Omega Protein pogy boats, based out of Pascagoula, resulted in a spill that sent an estimated 200,000 dead pogies, or menhaden, per boat into the water.
“Accidents do happen,’’ said Walter “Tiny” Chataginer, chief of law enforcement for the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources. “We are not sure what happened and how they got dumped.’’
Next up we’ll circle back to JR Welsh’s story in the Sun Herald from last month on the restoration of Buccaneer State Park in Waveland. I saw the C-L picked it up for today’s edition as they are manpower poor and no doubt very hungry for content. These are very challenging economic times for poorly run newspaper chains such as the C-L’s corporate parent Gannett but that is another post:
One of the Coast’s most beloved but hurricane-battered attractions is getting a $17 million overhaul and may be partially rebuilt by late fall, but won’t be back to full steam until at least 2010. Continue reading “Slabbed Daily July 15: Dead Fish Edition”
Not that such doesn’t help Gene Taylor with the local voters, the majority of which are very conservative and part of the 30 percent of the populace who do not care for Obama’s job performance (and never will). So while the new adminsitration didn’t even bother to meet with Gene on his bill to reform the NFIP before he came out against it, here is Mr Prez cuddling up with big insurance so they can have an advance briefing of what he intends to do along the lines of regulatory reform. Reuter’s reporter and Sen Chris Dodd mouthpiece Kevin Drawbaugh has the III talking points well summerized:
Insurance industry reform will be the chief focus of a briefing scheduled for Thursday evening by Obama administration officials to financial industry lobbyists, said sources familiar with the agenda.
Topics possibly open for discussion include a proposal to establish a U.S. insurance regulator. The nation’s more than 6,000 insurers are now regulated largely by state and territorial governments.
The briefing could range further afield, possibly covering other parts of the administration’s financial reform agenda, such as establishing a systemic risk regulator and writing new rules for derivatives markets, the sources said.
The snubs don’t stop there as Michael Newsome reported today in the Sun Herald: Continue reading “Some clear signals the Prez is crossways with Gene Taylor”
(h/t Alan at Yall for the link). Yesterday, thanks to the C-L story on the topic of multiperil insurance we found Mississippi’s own Rep Greg Harper has signed on to Gene’s bill joining Travis Childers as co-sponsors of HR 1264. Bennie Thompson has yet to sign on. Looking at the list of co sponsors at Gene’s congressional website we find a very diverse group of people (just like here at slabbed) in support of the multi peril concept. In addition to the newest announcements we see conservatives such as NOLA area Republican Rep Steve Scalise to Democratic Representatives Alcee Hastings and Sheila Jackson Lee have also signed on to HR 1264.
Over the past two years I’ve met, shook hands and briefly conversed with more US House members than I can remember at Gene’s Bay St Louis town hall meetings. Two from last year that came to the Bay and “talked a good game” were New York’s Steve Israel and Connecticut’s John Larson. For the slabbed it is put up or shut up time and we’re paying attention to the House members that sign up and the ones who talk a good game. We’re also paying attention to our own US Senator Roger Wicker who appears to be doing a tap dance instead of working this issue from the Senate side. Deborah Barfield has the Clarion Ledger story:
Banking on public outrage against insurance companies, 4th District Rep. Gene Taylor says his bill to add wind coverage to the federal flood-insurance program stands a better shot at passage this Congress.
“I would think that if there is ever a time to convince our fellow congressmen to rein in this industry, it’s now,” said Taylor, a Democrat.
Taylor reintroduced a bill this month that would expand the federal flood-insurance program to include wind coverage, which supporters say is important to homeowners in areas hit by hurricanes.
The bill, called the Multiple Peril Insurance Act, would allow homeowners who buy federal flood insurance to also purchase wind coverage.
Taylor said he expects more attention will be paid to his bill this year because lawmakers are upset that American International Group gave $165 million in employee bonuses after receiving more than $180 billion in a government bailout of the financial services industry. The House passed a bill Thursday that would impose a tax of 90 percent of those bonuses. Continue reading “Gene continues multiperil insurance rollout. Greg Harper proves to be a good neighbor.”