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PIA Seeks Changes in Office of National Insurance Bill

As Congress returns this week from its Memorial Day recess, PIA is seeking a key change in legislation creating an Office of National Insurance (ONI)....
June 9, 2010

As Congress returns this week from its Memorial Day recess, PIA is seeking a key change in legislation creating an Office of National Insurance (ONI). A conference is expected to be appointed this week to reconcile difference in House and Senate versions of financial reform bills (H.R. 4173) passed by both chambers. Included in both is a provision creating the ONI. In both versions, the new ONI is mandated to conduct an 18-month study of insurance regulation and make recommendations to Congress.

PIA has been lobbying to substitute the non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) as the entity conducting the study, rather than the newly-formed ONI. PIA National Executive Vice President & CEO Leonard C. Brevik noted that having the ONI "study itself and make recommendations to Congress would produce a biased result in favor of federal regulation."

"The most important aspect of H.R. 4173 is that it affirms that the states will continue to regulate the business of insurance," said Leonard C. Brevik, PIA executive vice president and CEO. "While not perfect, this bill recognizes that the insurance industry did not cause the financial crisis and it appropriately directs reforms to the sectors of our economy that did cause the crisis."

Brevik added, "We remain concerned with the scope of the ONI and are also hopeful that in conference, the GAO will be substituted for the ONI as the entity conducting the study of insurance regulation." An amendment by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) that would have substituted the GAO for the ONI and make other changes to the bill was not brought up for a vote.

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