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Friday, May 4, 2007

Insurance bill a matter of faith

The Strib has an update on the good-faith insurance bill that allows direct actions against insurers and creates a cause of action against insurers who deny benefits without a reasonable basis.

Through an amazing act of legislative prestidigitation, the insurance bill was attached to a $2 billion public safety bill. Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who is against the insurance measure, threatened to veto the entire public safety bill unless the insurance rider was removed.

"During debate in the Senate and the House, supporters angrily accused Pawlenty and the insurance industry of refusing to compromise," the Strib reports. "The bill has been the target of extensive lobbying from the trial lawyers, who long have primarily supported DFLers, and of an expensive media campaign from the insurance industry, which has often supported Republicans."

The insurance provision was ultimately pulled to make way for the massive public-safety bill. (See "'Good faith' starts slugfest at Legislature.") It wil undoubtedly resurface again a separate piece of legislation.

The entire episode proves what I always have thought: "If laws are like sausages, stick with vegetarian option." In any event, as I posted before, I am sick of those lawyer-bashing insurance industry radio ads against this bill. If they really want to keep our rates down, why don't they stop running that obnoxious and deceptive ad campaign and send the money saved back to us in the form of a rebate or reduced premium?

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