Friday, March 26, 2010

Why I'm Angry

I, like so many others, am angry with our so called leadership right now.  I'm even angry that none of the pundints or the politicians seem to understand why I'm angry.

I'm upset of course that they have refused to listen to the will of the people, but that's only fuel to a fire that was already burning a pure, blue flame.  I'm angry because of what is in the bill, but I seem to be seeing it from a different perspective than many others.  Perhaps because I am in the insurance business, and it is a business.  Why are we not looking at what is happening to the insurance companies within this bill instead of looking at the insurance benefits.

The government is now telling private companies what their rate for administrative costs are, what they can charge for their product, what rate of profit they can make, and that they can refuse service to nobody even if serving that person will be financiallly catastrophic.  Imagine for a moment that this was any business but an insurance company.

How would people react if this was the auto industry.  What would people think if Congress wrote a bill that said that auto companies could make no more than a 5% profit and have no more than 15% of the money made from car sales in their administrative costs?  How do you think the UAW would react to finding out that Congress had mandated how much their company could spend on their pay and benefits?  Especially if Congress also stated that they could only charge $15,000 for a new car and that nobody could be turned down for financing of that vehicle - which of course the auto company would have to provide.

In what alternate universe is this kind of government control of a private company an ok thing to do?  This is what the people and the corporations should be doing to Congress, not what Congress should be doing to the private sector.

Congress is the only application of this idea where the policy makes sense.  Allow a smile of bliss to drift over your face as you imagine that we had a limit on how many of our tax dollars could be spent on administration costs vs actual federal benefits.  Or what if Congress had a limit on how much they could collect in taxes - all types of taxes combined.  Wouldn't that be glorious?  This is how it is supposed to be; the people limiting Congress, not Congress limiting the people.

Is what is happening acceptable because of the industry chosen to control?  If so, what happens when it's an industry we don't want them to control?  The precadent will already have been set.  They are nudging us in the way they always do.  They expect us to say, "well it's the insurance industry so it's okay."  And why wouldn't they expect us to say that?  Isn't that what we always say?  Congress abdicated their legislative power to the EPA and we said, "well, it's for the environment so that's okay."  A new government agency is created to do the jobs the FBI and CIA are already supposed to be doing and grow the government hugely and we said, "well, it's for national security so that's okay."  The census is sent out asking questions that Congress does not have the constitutional authority to ask and we say, "well, they'll use it for statistics and good things so that's okay."

I'm tired of saying okay and I'm mad at myself and every other citizen who said it was okay for Congress or the president to overstep their constitutional bounds.  It's not okay for so much as a political toe nail or nose hair to poke or flutter over that constitutional line and we should be there, at that line, prepared to block an advance and facilitate a retreat.  We should be the firm guardians of our constitutional lines of power.

I'm angry because while we were supposed to be manning the Constitutional Battlements we were listening to our ipods or watching American idol and our castle of liberty has been stormed and the enemy is no longer at the gate but is inside the castle keep. 

I'm angry because too many people in this nation still think it's okay.  It's not okay.  It should never be okay and I for one will never stand by, shrug my shoulders and say "okay" to such things again.

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