Indiana-made vehicles unsafe?

November 25, 2008
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More than half the cars, vans, pickup trucks and sport-utility vehicles assembled in Indiana failed to make the Insurance Institute for Highway Safetyâ??s latest list of safest vehicles.

Making the list are the Subaru Legacy and Tribeca, assembled in Lafayette; the Honda Civic, made in the new plant at Greensburg; and the Toyota Tundra. Tundra production, however, is being moved out of Princeton to a Toyota plant in Texas.

Missing from the list are the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks, assembled at Fort Wayne; the Toyota Camry, made at the Subaru plant; the Toyota Sienna, assembled in Princeton; and the Toyota Sequoia, also made at Princeton.

As buyers increasingly factor safety into their decisions, models not appearing on the list lose out on a strong selling point. That canâ??t be good news for Fort Wayne or for the Evansville area, which is fed in part by the Toyota plant.

How do you feel about these ratings? The Insurance Institute test is considered tougher than the governmentâ??s safety test, but more than 70 cars now are earning the highest mark.

Increasing safety is certainly worth celebrating. But is the bar now too low? Should the institute raise its standards?
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  • Too low or too high? Would you rather be hit in a 2008 Camry or a 2000 Camry? I am absolutely confident the 2008 is safer. How about a My feeling is that these self serving independent rating institutions may not reflect reality. The list now requires that vehicles have electronic anti rollover protection in the form of Electronic Stability Control. Again, nice feature, not inexpensive, and the absence of this does not make a vehicle unsafe.

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  1. You are correct that Obamacare requires health insurance policies to include richer benefits and protects patients who get sick. That's what I was getting at when I wrote above, "That’s because Obamacare required insurers to take all customers, regardless of their health status, and also established a floor on how skimpy the benefits paid for by health plans could be." I think it's vital to know exactly how much the essential health benefits are costing over previous policies. Unless we know the cost of the law, we can't do a cost-benefit analysis. Taxes were raised in order to offset a 31% rise in health insurance premiums, an increase that paid for richer benefits. Are those richer benefits worth that much or not? That's the question we need to answer. This study at least gets us started on doing so.

  2. *5 employees per floor. Either way its ridiculous.

  3. Jim, thanks for always ready my stuff and providing thoughtful comments. I am sure that someone more familiar with research design and methods could take issue with Kowalski's study. I thought it was of considerable value, however, because so far we have been crediting Obamacare for all the gains in coverage and all price increases, neither of which is entirely fair. This is at least a rigorous attempt to sort things out. Maybe a quixotic attempt, but it's one of the first ones I've seen try to do it in a sophisticated way.

  4. In addition to rewriting history, the paper (or at least your summary of it) ignores that Obamacare policies now must provide "essential health benefits". Maybe Mr Wall has always been insured in a group plan but even group plans had holes you could drive a truck through, like the Colts defensive line last night. Individual plans were even worse. So, when you come up with a study that factors that in, let me know, otherwise the numbers are garbage.

  5. You guys are absolutely right: Cummins should build a massive 80-story high rise, and give each employee 5 floors. Or, I suppose they could always rent out the top floors if they wanted, since downtown office space is bursting at the seams (http://www.ibj.com/article?articleId=49481).

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