Scott Slesinger, Legislative Director, Washington, DC
H.R. 2799, A Bill to Allow Corporations to go Without Insurance and Place the Expense on the Taxpayer Act.
Does Capitalism Work?
Apparently not according to House Republicans.
House Republicans once more are trying to privatize profits and socialize the costs.
As the House of Representatives returns from a well-earned vacation, another rollback of environmental laws is in the offing.
This time the sponsors, among other things, want to allow corporations that deal with hazardous materials to NOT carry insurance in case they pollute the land or water.
My mortgage lender insists that I carry fire insurance though the risk to my brick condo is minimal. The Superfund Law requires the Environmental Protection Agency to determine which industries have caused significant waste contamination and left tremendous cleanup costs to the government. To protect the taxpayers, the law requires EPA to make sure those industries with risky profiles have insurance to cover such threats. In many cases, companies have found ways to go bankrupt to avoid the cost of cleanup and to leave the burden to taxpayers. Requiring insurance or other financial assurance protects the community and taxpayers if not from the toxic threats, at least from the cost of cleanup.

But to protect companies apparently too poor to carry insurance but rich enough to make political contributions, H.R. 2279 will be voted on next week to make it almost impossible to require polluting industries to carry such insurance. Anyone who doesn’t believe in capitalism or personal responsibility should support this bill.

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