‘Maintain urban subsidies’

Every now and then someone actually tells it the way it is when it comes to forcing insurance rates below their actuarial justified level — like in this story about Nonnie S. Burnes, the new Massachusetts Insurance Commissioner: 

Burnes, who has ordered that "managed" auto insurance competition will begin on April 1, said she would use her powers to keep rates in check, to maintain urban subsidies, and most likely to bar companies from using socioeconomic factors like credit history, occupation, homeownership, and education in deciding whether to insure customers and how much to charge them.

"We are going to let the insurers compete, but this is not the wild, wild West," Burnes said.

I’m not sure if this was a moment of candor for Burnes, or if the reporter was just especially sharp. I’m not saying I’m categorically against all subsidies, I merely think we should label them for what they are and debate whether they serve the greater good of society.  

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