Henry Lamb
If once is good, twice is better
By Henry Lamb
March 26, 2010

Obama is so happy with his new health insurance program he has decided to launch a new auto insurance program as well. He is convinced that his program will provide coverage for all those uninsured motorists now on the nation's highways, reduce costs, and finally, provide the protection every driver has a right to enjoy.

The new bill, called "Driver's Protection and Coverage Act," will require every insurance company to guarantee coverage to every driver who applies. No longer will people be denied coverage just because they have been arrested for driving under the influence, or speeding, or for having had multiple accidents in the past. Moreover, insurance companies will no longer be able to discriminate against people with poor driving records, or against people who drive expensive cars. Everyone will pay the same premium.

"The American people are tired of being gouged by greedy insurance companies," Obama said. "We're leveling the playing field; we're giving America's drivers the coverage they deserve."

The new bill also requires all auto insurance companies to pay out 85% of their total premium revenue in claims, or in refunds to policy holders. This absolutely guarantees that the insurance companies will no longer be able to pay outrageous dividends to shareholders or fat-cat salaries and bonuses to executives. Every insurance company will have to operate on no more than 15% of its revenue.

Individuals and families who can't afford insurance will be given subsidies. A new tax on gasoline, automobiles, and insurance companies will provide the funding for the subsidies.

"Not one cent will be added to the deficit because of this program," Obama assured an audience in Topeka. "This program is deficit neutral, and it will create thousands of new jobs."

As might be expected, insurance companies are not happy with this new scheme.

Geico's gecko vowed to resign should the bill become law, and a spokesman for Allstate said they would wash their hands of the entire mess.

Emboldened by his recent success with health care, Obama is determined to move forward. Senator Reid and Speaker Pelosi have had two meetings with Rahm Emanuel, which Washington watchers say were to plan strategy for the new auto initiative. And this could be just the beginning.

Representative Maxine Waters is said to be circulating a petition among members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus to apply the same profit principle to Exxon and the oil industry. Although the petition has not yet been made public, Representatives who have seen it report that it makes the argument that "...since we have successfully limited the insurance industry to a 15% operating margin, why can we not limit the oil industry, and every other profiteering capitalist corporation to the same guidelines." Every member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus voted for Obamacare, and they have expressed support for the auto insurance bill.

When confronted by a reporter from FOX News, Representative Waters denied that the petition idea came from the Democratic Socialists of America.

© Henry Lamb


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)


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