Megyn Kelly, of FoxNews interviewed me last Friday. The topic was “Who Will Take the Lead in Deficit Debate.” She appropriately raised the important issue whether our political leaders have the courage to change spending and tax policy to prevent government bankruptcy. Here is the Interview:
Following the interview, I contemplated the issue of courage and whether our elected leaders and politicians have enough courage to stand up to the insurance industry and its political lobby. The insurance industry has essentially taken over the determination of insurance policy within the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries. Its “soft money” campaign contributions are unsurpassed. Those of us with the ability and knowledge to challenge the powerful interests have a responsibility to help educate our elected officials and raise the prospect of intentionally misleading debate by these entities.
Standing up to illogical demands from those that support you financially can be difficult. When I write that the actuarial losses of sinkhole claims cannot be sustained in the long-term without changes to rates and/or changes in sinkhole coverage, I am certain some are not happy with that viewpoint. Yet, it is the truth and something must be done to change the current unsustainable situation.
What is not acceptable and seems to be the cowardly trend is the acceptance of untruthful and illogical reasoning for change of law or policy. “Fraud” is spewed from the mouths of insurance lobbyists and insurance propagandists as a basis for change. Few valid statistics ever support such charges. But using the word “fraud” as a false basis for insurance reform is as common as using the word “communist” was during the McCarthy era of the 1950’s.
I was amazed that nobody in the Florida Senate Banking and Insurance Committee challenged the derogatory comment made by one insurance executive testifying that sinkhole losses are a form of “blue collar lottery.” Such defamatory rhetoric is used to cast unfair suspicion and impugn the integrity of anybody making such a claim and those that provide help doing so. Senator Mike Fasano was a noted exception to the acceptance of such rhetoric. Other senators were not taking a stand nor did they have the courage to challenge the statement. The media simply repeated the pithy, but false charge. A problem with outcome oriented public policy agendas is that many have no logical basis for implementation. They can be quite destructive. McCarthyism and the absolute proof of Iraq having weapons of mass destruction are examples what a delusional basis can do to influence politicians.
Similarly, “fraud” and “lottery mentality” are the false codewords used by the insurance industry and its lobbyists to support its outcome oriented agenda. Whenever they are mentioned, elected officials and regulators should question whether there is a truthful and legitimate reason for the insurance industry’s request for alleged “reform.” The courage to demand a honest debate rather than support of a position and vote pre-determined is needed if we are to improve the insurance marketplace.