McCain blasted for not supporting catastrophe fund listen06/05/08 Mitch E. Perry
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With John McCain continuing to campaign in Florida today, two Sunshine state Democrats took aim at him for his reluctance to support a National Catastrophic Insurance Fund.
South Florida Congressman Ron Klein, a superdelegate who endorsed Barack Obama this week, and Minority leader in the House, Dan Gelber, who also recently officially endorsed Obama, spoke on a conference call today with Florida reporters.
In addition to the high premiums Florida homeowners are paying for insurance, Floridians are also paying a 2 percent surcharge on their homeowner's insurance premiums and a 1 percent surcharge on their auto insurance premiums to help fund Citizens, the state run insurer.
Klein says when he was elected to Congress two years ago, he realized that disaster relief is not just a Florida problem, referring to natural disasters that hit all across the country, and the lack of insurance coverage those areas have. He cited California, where 84 percent of homeowners have no earthquake insurance. . Klein has proposed legislation that would encourage states with catastrophe funds like Florida's to form a consortium that together would sell bonds and buy reinsurance to cover when a big disaster hits.
Klein said the bill has received widespread support in the House, but it is just starting to move in the Senate.
But McCain opposes the Fund, saying it would cost more than $200 billion. Congressman Klein says he’s befuddled by that comment.
When asked if Sen. Obama specifically supports his legislation, Klein says that he sent the bill out for support to all the presidential candidates, Republican and Democrat, last year. He says Obama said he would support it, and McCain said he would not.
The Florida Democratic party has released an ad on the Internet criticizing McCain’s opposition to a national catastrophe fund – it can be viewed at HurricaneMcCain.com.