Thursday, May 19, 2005

Neosho Daily News Managing Editor Buzz Ball's interview with Rep. Kevin Wilson, R-Neosho, earlier this week was enlightening.
Under the category of "protecting family values" Wilson mentioned HB 365, which corrected flaws in the conceal and carry legislation that was passed the previous year. What this has to do with family values, I don't know. If I recall correctly (and I do) state legislators, primarily on the Republican side, passed the concealed weapons law after Missouri voters rejected it. Even though it was primarily Kansas City and St. Louis that defeated the bill, the votes of those people count, too, and there were many law enforcement officials in this state who were not too happy to know that people could legally carry concealed weapons. Apparently, the vote of the people is only important if it coincides with the majority party's agenda.
For some reason, Wilson did not mention the law, rushed through in the final hours of the just-concluded legislative session, that makes all insurance complaints closed records. It was billed as a law to protect people from having their medical conditions a public record, but that was not what this bill was about.
It also closes all other types of insurance complaints, including car insurance. So the people who most need to know if their insurance agents can be trusted, the consumers, will have no access to this information. When a complaint is made with the Insurance Commission, which is supposed to represent the people, it will be a closed record.
I suppose I should mention that the Insurance Commission is appointed by Governor Matt Blunt, who has not shown any inclination to nominate consumer representatives to the commission. His appointments have been insurance agents and representatives of the insurance industry.

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