Tuesday, September 13, 2005

What I'm Mad About Today

Sweet Lord. i'm not necessarily for or against insurance companies, but you'd think there were a FEW things more important to deal with right now than plainly making out with the insurance industry in the halls of the Mississippi Legislature. Here's a recent Democratic Press Release:

GOP Legislators Lead Love-Fest For Insurance Industry During Meeting

Democratic Member Rebuffed When Topic Turned
To Helping Victims Of Hurricane Katrina

While most Mississippians are focused on helping victims of Hurricane Katrina, key Republicans in the Legislature turned their efforts to helping the insurance industry make more money and celebrate their multi-million-dollar surplus.

On Monday, Republican legislators led the way during a joint-meeting of the House and Senate Insurance Committees in praising tort reform and discussing the potential buyout of the Mississippi Medical Malpractice Availability Plan (M-MAP), saying that efforts to address the devastation of Hurricane Katrina could wait until Tuesday.

"This is simply absurd," said Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Dowdy. "If you are in touch with Mississippi, your first concern is healing and rebuilding the southern part of this state."

While Republican Sens. Dean Kirby, Charlie Ross, Mike Chaney and Alan Nunnelee bragged about how tort reform has made insurance companies millions of dollars and touted the state's "urgent need" to get out of the "insurance business" by selling off M-MAP, the president of the company seeking to buy out M-MAP expressed surprise that he was even meeting with the committee just two weeks after a hurricane ravaged the Gulf Coast.

"I was thinking this wasn't a priority for Mississippi right now," Richard Welch, president of Best Practices Insurance Management Services, told committee members when asked to speak.

When Democratic Rep. Dirk Dedeaux, whose district encompasses portions of the Gulf Coast, tried to steer the discussion to what the state can do to tide the loss of physicians and other professionals from the coast, he was curtly rebuffed, being told that there was no shortage of doctors on the coast and that most physicians would be back to normal within a few months. One presenter replied that the Legislature had already done the best it could to help hurricane victims: "You passed tort reform."

"Two weeks have gone by, and some elements of the Legislature are back to their divisive, partisan rhetoric," Dowdy said. "I believe, especially in a time of tragedy, that there is more that unites us than divides us. It is that which unites us as a people with a common goal of raising humanity from the terrible blow we have been dealt on which we should be focused.

"I sincerely hope, and do honestly trust, there are other Republicans in the Legislature who are more focused on the plight of common Mississippians than on the plight of overly wealthy insurance companies."

The joint-meeting continues today, with relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina victims to be discussed at the end. The agenda contains representatives of medical associations, manufacturing associations and the insurance industry. Noticeably missing from the agenda were any advocates for workers and individual Mississippians.


Buck Allred said...

That is ridiculous, if not all that shocking.

Could you post a direct link to that press release?

Polly said...

actually, you may be able to snoop around and find it, maybe on the dem's site. i got that release sent to me directly (since i'm so special) and only have a hard copy...i MAY be able to find an email attachment though.

pinky said...

i'd say that is more like outrageous!! what the hell?!?!

how long is it going to take people to realize that this Katrina "thing" isn't just a thing at all. it needs to be addressed and taken care of and the people that live there need to know that their own state is in support of that.

(angry sigh) any updates on this yet?