The insurance industry has a long history of governmental intervention. During World War I, when German U-boats began sinking U.S. commercial vessels in the north Atlantic, commercial insurers balked at insuring the vessels, and the federal government stepped in.

In 1993, when President Clinton introduced his (wife's) plan for reforming health care, The Economist magazine evoked the nationalizations that occurred during World War II, observing, "Not since Franklin Roosevelt's War Production Board has it been suggested that so large a part of the American economy should suddenly be brought under government control."

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