Critical Condition

Summer Fishing Trip

Neil Cavuto asked me about Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s request to the top 15 insurers for financial information regarding how much they charge in premiums and how much they make in profits. This follows a recent Henry Waxman letter to 52 insurance companies requesting details on pay, travel, and meetings of every employee who makes over a certain income threshhold. 

I wrote a few weeks ago about the apparent shift in strategy by the Democrats towards demonizing the insurance companies. The public option was getting hammered and they seem to have said: “Let’s go back to basics and hit the least popular group out there.” Now they are taking this beyond rhetoric and politics and may be using their governmental powers to pursue this strategy. I am told by folks who follow this that the requests may not have the force of law behind them, but that probably will not stop the companies from feeling compelled to comply. Republicans could presumably do the same thing, and issue similar requests of, say, unions and trial lawyers, but they would likely just end up getting ignored and sued, respectively, in the process.

Tevi Troy is a presidential historian and former White House aide.

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