Ethanol and health insurance have more in common than meets the eye.

In a letter to the Senate’s majority and minority leaders, 17 U.S. senators from across the political spectrum recently spoke out against ethanol subsidies.

The bipartisan group said that they “do not support an extension of either the 54 cent-per-gallon tariff on ethanol imports or the 45 cent-per-gallon subsidy for blending ethanol into gasoline.”

The Wall Street Journal explained the role that ethanol subsidies have played in these senators reaching across the aisle to join forces even in these partisan times:

Led by Democrat Dianne Feinstein and Republican Jon Kyl, the group said Congress shouldnt extend certain subsidies that expire at the end of the year, including the 45-cent-per-gallon tax credit for blending ethanol into gasoline and tariffs on cheaper imports. Conservatives like Tom Coburn dislike this costly industrial policy, while liberals like Barbara Boxer and Sheldon Whitehouse are turning against the hefty carbon emissions that come with corn fuels.

This is good news indeed. Though it would be better if they had called for an end to the ethanol mandate as well. Using ethanol as an additive to gasoline does little to nothing for air quality.

But cutting out the subsidies and protectionist tariff is a step in the right direction. For as the senators point out:

Historically our government has helped a product compete in one of three ways: subsidize it, protect it from competition, or require its use. We understand that ethanol may be the only product receiving all three forms of support from the U.S. government at this time.

If you’ve been wondering where the connection with health insurance is, this is it. With the individual mandate from ObamaCare now in place, health insurance joins ethanol as the only two products that the government subsidizes, protects from competition, and requires their use.

Put the two together, and we have all the evidence we need to support our work of promoting free markets.

– Bill Peacock