Don't let the Facts Stand in the Way of Political Ambition

Don't let the Facts Stand in the Way of Political Ambition

David Burton 2009

Uncle Sam Needs You!
Uncle Sam Needs You!

     Let it never be said that facts need stand in the way of political ambition. In my state of Massachusetts, Martha Coakley, the state's current Attorney General, "launched a blistering attack on the state's recently deregulated auto insurance system, saying it hasn't produced promised costs savings and other benefits." (Ref. 1)

     Interestingly, Ms Coakley makes these charges at a time when she is engaged in a political campaign against a Republican Challenger, Scott Brown, for the vacant seat of the late Senator Ted Kennedy.

     "Her most cutting criticism was that competition hasn't produced the cost savings promised - and that some insurers are actually raising their rates. In a press release, she suggested the system as previously regulated might have produced better prices for consumers." (Ref. 1.)

     Coakley's charges brought immediate criticism and disagreement from within her own party and administration. "Barbara Anthony, undersecretary for {Democratic governor, Deval} Patrick's executive office of consumer affairs and business regulation, said she had to 'respectfully disagree' with Coakley's analysis of prices. She noted that average premium prices fell by 8.2 percent in the first year of deregulation, while the number of insurers participating in the Massachusetts market has jumped to 30 from 19." (Ref. 1) In my own case, my annual auto insurance premiums have dropped from $2,700 under the state-regulated system in 2006 to $1,300 for the coming year 2010 without government regulation.

     If one were cynical, one would question the timing of Coakley's charges, let alone the basis of her charges. One might suspect that she made her attack on the auto insurance industry in order to attract attention during a political campaign or to reinstate the only government regulated auto insurance program in the 50 states, one that led to Massachusetts having some of the highest auto insurance costs in the country. But, extensive government control and regulation is a characteristic of the liberal, left-leaning overwhelmingly Democratic state of Massachusetts.

  1. AG slams auto insurance policy?, Jay Fitzgerald, Boston Herald, Page 18, 24 December 2009.

  28 December 2009 {Article 68; Whatever_14}    
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