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Insurance Hypocrisy: Property more important than People

It didn’t take very long for the conservative Republicans in the SouthEast, who have been yelling a lot lately about how Government is never the answer, to change their tune and beg for government assistance in the wake of widespread flooding. But I resisted posting a story about that, since I hate to hit people when they are down (even ignorant people).

But that was before I found a couple of stories about how the very same people who are opposing government health insurance, are for the exact same thing, but only if it applies to property and not to people’s health. So if your property floods, and you didn’t bother to purchase flood insurance, then they are all for the government bailing you out. But if you get sick and don’t have health insurance, you can die for all they care.

For example, when Hurricane Katrina hit the home of then Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi, and he hadn’t purchased flood insurance, he introduced a bill to provide retroactive insurance to flood victims such as himself. Retroactive benefits were also supported by Mississippi’s other Senator, Thad Cochran, and by governor Haley Barbour. But all three of these Republican have fought health care reform.

Not only does the government pay for disaster relief, the government also subsidizes flood insurance. So the next time someone screams about not wanting to use taxpayer money to finance health insurance, ask them why taxpayer money is spent on flood insurance. Several states, including Florida, Louisiana, and Texas, are lobbying the government to further subsidize flood insurance programs to the tune of an additional $80 billion. Recall that Texas and Louisiana loudly rejected some of the money from the recent stimulus bill, but that isn’t stopping them from asking for an even bigger handout from the federal government.

And while insurance companies will reject you for preexisting conditions, for property the situation is just the opposite — if you live in an area that floods often, such as a hurricane zone, your flood insurance is even cheaper because it is subsidized:

Subsidizing flood insurance for those who live in hurricane zones makes it cheaper for people to live in those zones. This attracts more people to these areas then would naturally choose to live there.

When a hurricane inevitably destroys these areas again, the government will have to pay billions of dollars in insurance claims. Then they will spend more money redeveloping the area. Then they will again offer subsidized flood insurance to the residents of the area, lowering the cost of living, and thereby encouraging more people to move there. Then another hurricane will hit the area…

This has happened so many times before. It will likely happen again and again in the future.

So, why is it acceptable to have a public option for property insurance, but not for health insurance?

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11 Comments

  1. davidkfuller wrote:

    NFIP is a disaster. If you didn’t know, the only way to get flood insurance is through the federal government. The government needs to pay up when it is contracted to do so because of a flood. It needs to do so when it contracts with a person for Medicare and with Social Security. All of these do not have the funds to complete their contracts. Therefore they are all a failure. A congressman asking for the government to fulfill its promises is asking for a subsidy? You wanting the government to taking on more things to fail at is what is ironic. Republicans wanting the government to fulfill its contracts and not wanting it to take on more is bad? Look in the mirror. You may not be a hypocrite but you are a moron.

    Monday, September 28, 2009 at 10:30 pm | Permalink
  2. Iron Knee wrote:

    Mr. Fuller, the government does not sell flood insurance, it subsidizes it. So your statement (that the only way to get flood insurance is through the federal government) is false.

    Disaster relief, which is what your Republicans are asking for, is not the same thing as flood insurance. So your main point is also wrong.

    You may call me a moron, but your post (and your nauseating website, full of lies and name calling) says more about you than I would ever want (or need) to.

    If you stick around, you will notice that this website welcomes intelligent discussions from all viewpoints. If you have anything intelligent to contribute, you are welcome to stay.

    Monday, September 28, 2009 at 11:34 pm | Permalink
  3. davidkfuller wrote:

    Go ahead and tell me where you can buy flood insurance other than through the government NFIP flood insurance. Ironically, I may learn something from you.

    Tuesday, September 29, 2009 at 8:28 pm | Permalink
  4. Dnono wrote:

    Check here for a list of “more than 90″ companies:

    http://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/pages/about/nfip_partnership.jsp

    from the site:”The NFIP, a federal program, offers flood insurance, which can be purchased through property and casualty insurance agents. Rates are set and do not differ from company to company or agent to agent.”

    Tuesday, September 29, 2009 at 9:43 pm | Permalink
  5. davidkfuller wrote:

    Sure DNONO, you can buy the government insurance through plenty of companies.

    Tuesday, September 29, 2009 at 10:53 pm | Permalink
  6. DNONO wrote:

    Lloyds of London.

    Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 8:55 am | Permalink
  7. davidkfuller wrote:

    Lloyds of London is only licensed in Kentucky and Illinois but doesn’t sell flood insurance there. They may sell flood insurance in other countries.

    Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 10:22 am | Permalink
  8. DNONO wrote:

    there are plenty of online articles/news stories referring to organizations/individuals purchasing flood insurance from Lloyds. Don’t know who’s correct – nor do I care, especially seeing as this issue is not the main thrust of the article.

    Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 2:46 pm | Permalink
  9. pallas_athena2 wrote:

    The congressman was not “asking for the government to fulfill its promises.” He was asking to be allowed to retroactively purchase flood insurance because he didn’t buy it ahead of time. He could have bought it ahead of time, but he wasn’t required to, so he didn’t. He was asking the government to pay even when it had not promised to do so by being allowed to purchase flood insurance for flood insurance damages that had already occurred.

    Friday, October 2, 2009 at 11:10 am | Permalink
  10. Iron Knee wrote:

    Pallas_Athena2 is correct, and it is even worse than that. Congress did not let Lott purchase insurance retroactively, they instead just acted like he had insurance, and paid for his repairs, without him paying for it at all.

    Friday, October 2, 2009 at 11:52 am | Permalink
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