Next week, I expect, insurers will announce that they’re pulling out of Chicago. Risk of fire, you understand, and in the final analysis it’s not worth their time.
San Francisco? Too many earthquakes. LA? Drought (or mudslides, take your pick). Kansas? Did you see the Wizard of Oz? No way is anybody going to be responsible for yet another town wiped off the map by a twister.
It snows a lot in Wisconsin and Minnesota; ice storms down trees and power lines, pipes burst in the cold. Anybody living near a river could get flooded anytime, so forget about it, those of you on the Mississipp. Fry the whole state of Maine, too; I hear they get Perfect Storms up there.
Look, I know somebody’s gonna respond with risk-analysis graphs and such and I get it, I do, but the fact of the matter is that it’s past time we stopped with the unconditional surrender in the class warfare that leads to these insurers saying eh, too bad, so sad, see ya later every time people actually need them to do what they exist to do and what you pay them every single month to do.
We saw this during the malpractice debate, during which the high cost of health care was blamed on people who got the wrong leg cut off by an idiot doctor and had the temerity to be a little peeved. Never once did the debate shift to why exactly every insurance company headquarters I’ve ever seen look like a palace and why exactly no CEO of any insurance company I ever heard of has ever had to buy day-old bread, but they can jack up premiums and nobody says a word about what’s appropriate and what’s not. We see this during every negotiation over employment contracts ever, when the high cost of health insurance is cited as a reason why employers are shutting factories down and the question is how much employees should have to pay into their health plans, not why the health plans are so goddamn expensive in the first place.
It’s never about the insurance companies. Somehow, it’s never their responsiblity. It’s like the rates they charge just happen to them, like they’ve got no control over it at all. Nobody, and I mean nobody, holds them accountable these days. So of course they think they can just pull out of NOLA. After all, who’s going to stop them?
Not for nothing, but if the insurance companies are so pissed off about the crap rebuilding of the levees, they could have used those photos they have of most of Congress blowing Satan to lobby for somebody to do a better job. I didn’t hear a whole lot of that going on from where I sat, wealthy insurance execs giving press conferences talking about how important it was that the congresscritters they own step to their tune and build the levees decently. All I heard was a lot of whining about how hard it was to have to pay for something they said they were gonna pay for, namely people’s houses getting wiped off the map. If the levees were as important as they now say they are, the time to make that point was not after the decisions about levee rebuilding have been made. That would have made this a reason, not an excuse.
So my question is this. Who is going to stop them? Because somebody has to. We just elected a whole bunch of new congressmen and senators. Any of y’all out there not wholly owned subsidiaries of Allstate? I know since the campaign’s over some of you have been lonely for the press coverage. Want an issue to pound away at? Want to be more than That Guy Who Isn’t Barack Obama this year, with the added benefit that it’ll help some of the Democrats who elected your ass? Step up to the plate. Somebody has to say, enough. Because pretty soon it’ll be San Fran they’re abandoning, Chicago, Indianapolis, Portland, Boise, Salt Lake. Pretty soon it’ll be you, so when are you going to step up?