What Gulf Coast Congressman Gene Taylor wanted the Easter Bunny to bring him.
South Mississippi Living 4/07

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

American Soldiers: Caught in the Crosshairs of Iraq and Katrina

by Ana Maria

Regardless of our personal perspective on the Iraq occupation, Americans universally support the soldiers, want them to be safe, and want their return home to be joyous and welcoming. For those soldiers inside Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana whose homes Hurricane Katrina demolished or substantially destroyed, they face the double whammy of fighting in Iraq while their families are here fighting Big Insurance who often refuses to pay for wind-related damages for which premiums have been faithfully paid.

Today’s piece is devoted to those homeowners and business owners who are also members of our military, members who George W. Bush sent to his war in Iraq and whose families have been through Katrina and the insurance insanity that has befallen them since the storm’s 135 mph winds subsided.

After Katrina, many an insurance corporate titan implemented aggressive claims adjustment policies that ended up guaranteeing the financial ruin of American homeowners and business owners. Along with police officers, firefighters, teachers, nurses caught in this nightmare were our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

George W. Bush could have used the power of the bully pulpit to twist the arms of his CEO buddies in the insurance industry to do the morally correct thing and pay on the wind-related damages to every one of its policyholders’ homes and businesses be they soldiers, retired chief petty officers, school teachers, or police officers. However, he has not.

Instead, George W. Bush has failed to protect American soldiers from the ravages of the policies that his Big Insurance buddies implemented, policies that failed to deliver on the wind policies included in the homeowner policies these soldiers had for their homes.

What I’d like to hear from a president that cared is something like the following.

My fellow Americans, I come before you today to express my enormous distress at the pain and suffering that has befallen many families and businesses inside the Katrina-ravaged region. Upon learning of the policies and procedures that Big Insurance has implemented that guts the financial security upon which these families and businesses depend to get back on their feet quickly and return to their lives, I am putting the full weight of the White House to back a legislative initiative that will protect America’s financial security for every family and business: the Multiple Peril Insurance policy.

This consolidates into one insurance policy protection for both flood and wind. Nowhere in this great nation of ours can we purchase such a policy. Nowhere. In the 60’s, private insurance companies chose to get out of the flood insurance business. Given this void, Congress passed the flood insurance act to protect the financial security of American families and businesses from flood damage. Since 1968, American families have had this protection.

Today, Big Insurance is demonstrating a callous disregard to Americans everywhere—including our nation’s soldiers who are protecting this country. These soldiers voluntarily give up their freedom, liberty, and sometimes their lives in service to this country.
Rather than looking out for the financial security of policyholders, Big Insurance is looking out for its own financial security and doing so wrongly on the backs of its policyholders--policyholders who are teachers and doctors, retired seniors and American soldiers. These soldiers’ selflessness for the love of country should be the model for all citizens. They give their lives to protect us. We must do what we must to protect them. In so doing, we also protect the rest of America.

Private insurance is effectively no longer providing wind coverage for American families and businesses. Congress is again taking the bold step to provide this needed financial security. Mississippi Congressman Gene Taylor, who lost his home in Katrina and who had to sue his insurance company to get a settlement, has drafted this good bill. The White House is putting its full weight behind the measure because it protects America’s home and business owners.

Thank you.

Wouldn’t that be something to hear?! To know that we had a White House that cared about the hundreds of millions of little people that make up this nation whether we are teachers or nurses or active or retired military officers?

Well, having a White House that cares about the hundreds of millions of little people that make up this nation is something we can work toward. Today, we have the great opportunity to help take out of the insurance crosshairs both active and retired military. Simultaneously, we will be helping the rest of the Katrina-ravaged residents along the Louisiana-Mississippi-Alabama Gulf Coast AND the rest of the nation’s 55% that live within 50 miles of the nation’s beautiful coastline.

Incorporating multiple peril coverage into the federal flood insurance policy is within reach of passing the entire House of Representatives when the legislation goes for a vote this Thursday, September 27th.

Today’s political hell raising activity is specifically dedicated to helping to ease the pain of every soldier impacted by both Iraq and Katrina. Supporting and protecting the troops means providing the armor to keep them safe overseas AND providing these soldiers with the insurance armor that will help keep their families protected against the greedy winds of Big Insurance. ;)

Soooooo, let’s call and email our congressional representatives. Yes, if you’ve already called, then email. If you’ve already emailed, then call. The more, the merrier. On that note, contact two other people and convince them to do the same. Again, the more, the merrier.

Ending what many of us term a nightmare in Iraq also means ending the nightmare that is for many a soldier the ongoing nightmare that is Big Insurance. For soldiers, being caught in the cross hairs of Iraq and Katrina can begin to end today with calls and emails to pass this important legislation.

© 2007 Ana Maria Rosato. All rights reserved.
Return to A.M. in the Morning! Home

No comments: