Sunday, January 20, 2008

Silly Candidate Tricks: P&C Version

A few months ago, we reported on Sen Edwards' empty threat to strip congressgritters of their elite medical coverage. Lest folks believe that we only ding the Democrats, we bring you the latest goofball idea from the Republican side:

"Rudy Giuliani is trying to edge out his fellow Republican presidential contenders by pledging to make homeowners insurance more affordable in high-risk areas - a key issue in this hurricane belt state."

On the one hand, it's comforting to know that our P&C brethren aren't immune from folks looking for gummint solutions to private sector challenges. But if such schemes are unworkable with regard to health insurance, why would this be a good idea for homeowners cover? After all, they share many characteristics.

Indeed, as we reported back in November, the Sunshine State already has a gummint-run insurance plan. And that one is in the hole by almost $400 billion (with a "b"). So what's Rudy's plan?

"(A) federal "backstop" fund to spread insurance risks associated with hurricanes and other disasters."

Essentially, he's proposing to make the Feds a sort of hyper-reinsurer. There's precedence for this, of course (cf: 9/11 victims fund), but is it a good idea? Yes, this may prove quite popular in Florida, where homeowner's insurance tends to run high, but why (other than for vote-pandering reasons) would someone propose making that a permanent fixture, with untold billions of future liabilities?

Oh, looks like I answered myself.
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