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House Subcommittee to Hold May 14 Hearing on Insurance Oversight

The House Financial Services Capital Markets Subcommittee will hold the first in what is expected to be a series of public hearings on federal insurance...
May 12, 2009

The House Financial Services Capital Markets Subcommittee will hold the first in what is expected to be a series of public hearings on federal insurance oversight. The hearing, entitled "How Should the Federal Government Oversee Insurance?" will take place on May 14. No witness list has yet been released, but subcommittee staffers tell PIA that the first hearing will feature academics providing input. The hearing will probably focus on the National Insurance Consumer Protection Act (H.R. 1880) by Reps. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Melissa Bean (D-Ill.). PIA has stated its opposition to H.R. 1880. 

Capital Markets Subcommittee Chairman Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.) is already on record supporting a so-called optional federal charter for insurers and producers, both in life & health and property/casualty. Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) has stated repeatedly that any consideration of an OFC should be limited to life & health and not include p/c.

What It Means to Agents:  We note that the title of this hearing, "How Should the Federal Government Oversee Insurance?" apparently assumes that the federal government should oversee insurance. To be truly impartial, the word "how" should have been deleted from the title.

PIA supports state regulation of insurance and opposes federalization. PIA also supports Congressional efforts to address the systemic regulation of the major players in financial services, as long as they do not undercut our state insurance regulators, or undermine state insurance law. Congress needs to focus its regulatory reform efforts on the areas where the problems occurred: in banking, securities and capital markets.