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

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Grateful: Home Builder's Assoc. Strong Ally in Insurance Reform

by Ana Maria

My heart danced with great joy and I burst out in smiles all over the place the other night. I had received the email announcing the great news that the National Association of Home Builders has endorsed Congressman Gene Taylor’s multiple peril insurance policy proposal. This is a big victory for home and business owners. The NAHB is an incredible ally in helping to restore the financial security many of us believe we have when we buy home or business owner insurance policies.

Taylor and his wife Margaret lost their home in Katrina, were denied wind-related damages, and had to hire Dickie Scruggs to fight their insurance company. A Democrat who represents South Mississippi, Taylor and his staff have worked tirelessly on insurance reform. The news about the homebuilders is a welcome addition to the team, I’m sure.

How fantastic that a major, important, and mainstream player in our nation’s economy “gets it.” The National Homebuilders Association understands the crippling negative economic impact of requiring home and business owners to purchase insurance-in-name-only. The impact? Financial ruin for the individual homeowner or business owner and for all the connecting businesses as well, connecting businesses like . . . homebuilders, developers, architects, contractors, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, painters, bricklayers, and so on and so forth.

Their announcement is a great shot of energy that even I felt when I read the article. I’ve been here only six months, yet I’m already experiencing some energy shifts, what one person referred to as the 6-month burnout. Well, I’m not burn out. I am frustrated as hell, though.

I like to get things done. Period. Figure out what needs doing, set my mind to doing it, and begin moving heaven-hell-and-earth to get it done. In no time flat, voila! It’s done no matter what impossibilities may have been required to overcome.

Katrina Land is a different kettle of fish, however. Like many others, I want to do more, but the reality of the enormity of the obstacles astounds me. Help and leadership that would have been here, say, eight or nine years ago, is no where to be found. The brazen abandonment by those leaders upon whom we depend in national or natural emergencies remains shocking, the stinging betrayal unrecognizably unfathomable.

Six years ago today, our entire nation experienced the devastation that we now refer to simply as 9-11. The loss of life profound. The impact on those families immeasurable. Nationally, we felt vulnerable in ways we had not ever before felt.

This week’s 60 Minutes aired a piece titled The Dust At Ground Zero. Yes, today, many first responders and others suffer from breathing in air that the Bush Administration declared safe. Another Bush betrayal in the face of a national emergency.

The Katrina-ravaged region remains a national emergency. When Bush brags about the billions appropriated to the Katrina region, he fails to mention how much remains in the pipeline hung up by his own executive branch politics and bureaucratic red tape that he could clear—if only he wanted to. Instead, he comes to the area for his annual photo op, speaks his niceties and another round of empty promises, and goes to his next stop to do the same. His is a betrayal of pretension.

That’s the kind of betrayal that the insurance industry has imposed upon us nationally as American consumers of residential and business policies. When an insurance company sells policies that fail to do what we pay our good money for it to do, then the insurance company commits betrayal through pretension.

While it may ultimately come as no surprise that Bush’s corporate buddies in the insurance industry betrayed us, the emotional and financial reality of this betrayal has upended our lives permanently in much the same devastating way as 9-11 upended the nation.

I know that insurance is one of those boring, mundane, non-sexy aspects of our lives. There’s nothing all that dramatic about it, except when we don’t have it. Don’t have it, for example, because when our good neighbor sold wind damage insurance to us, we didn’t realize that we when we needed it most we would not be in good hands after all.

Our good neighbor in whose good hands we had hoped to be should something befall us, had apparently pretended to sell us the financial security we desired. Our money went to secure the industry’s $108 billion profits in 2005-2006, but not to secure our homes and businesses.

Fortunately, help has begun to arrive. For this, we are grateful. The announcement that the National Association of Home Builders is joining forces with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC), and Congressman Gene Taylor (D-MS) creates a stronger foundation to achieve real financial security for America’s home and business owners. As we all move forward together to do our part to solve this financial security crisis, those are good hands to be in.

© 2007 Ana Maria Rosato. All rights reserved.

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1 comment:

Chuck said...

I came across this. Is this true? Good job Ana, way to be a good publc figure.

Goodbye, Maria

NANCY PYLE's former pugilistic campaign manager has become the District 10 councilwoman's former pugilistic chief of staff. ANA MARIA ROSATO was canned last week less than five months on the job. The reason? Pyle won't say. She asked her new chief of staff, LELAND C. WILCOX, fresh out of Sonoma State and a few years in the Legislature, to return our call. Wilcox sent over a press release thanking Rosato for helping Pyle win office last fall. (The release also said Wilcox was a member of Sonoma's varsity soccer team, in case you were wondering about his ability to kick a ball.) Rosato wasn't the most popular chief of staff on the sixth floor. She was known to be as combative with other council offices as she was during the election. (One staffer described Rosato's conversational approach as "random" and "odd.") During last year's race, Rosato took partial credit for a hit piece that darkened RICH DE LA ROSA's face and inferred he was an East Sider trying to infiltrate District 10's upscale, lily-white neighborhoods. When De La Rosa complained, Rosato responded sarcastically, "Poor Rich. I can only imagine how disappointing it is that he didn't make it." We tried to contact Rosato at her north San Jose apartment but she wasn't havin' it. She becomes the second staff person Pyle's fired since taking office in January. The entry code to councilmember offices was changed after the first firing, leading some to believe something serious had gone down.