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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Saturday, January 15, 2005


Can You Lose Your Insurance Because of Your Political Beliefs?

posted by Christopher at Saturday, January 15, 2005 permalink View blog reactions

The answer is "yes," if you have insurance with Providence Mutual. An 80-year old retired pediatrician has lost her insurance coverage due to her hometown "political activities" - activities which included hosting fundraisers for Howard Dean. An excerpt from the Concord Monitor:

Helen Johnston is an 80-year-old retired pediatrician who hardly considers herself much of a risk for being sued. That's not how her insurance company sees it, however....

Johnston is losing extra coverage she bought years ago while she still practiced medicine - not because she's a retired doctor, but because she is active in Francestown politics. The Providence Mutual Fire Insurance Co. sent her a letter last month notifying her it is not renewing her $1 million umbrella policy next month because of "the political positions the insured holds."

"If she was just a retired doctor, it wouldn't be an issue," said Dale Groves, vice president for underwriting for the Providence, R.I., company.

What does this say about the role of corporations in our democracy? Are we putting ourselves at risk in our society simply by exercising good citizenship? This kind of corporate conduct is outrageous and should be stopped in its tracks.


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.