You are here:HomeIssuesProtecting State Insurance Regulation 2010Several Insurance-Related Amendments Eyed As Financial Reform Nears Vote

Several Insurance-Related Amendments Eyed As Financial Reform Nears Vote

As the Senate moved into what's expected to be the final days on debate on financial reform legislation, several insurance-related amendments have been introduced. These...
May 18, 2010

As the Senate moved into what's expected to be the final days on debate on financial reform legislation, several insurance-related amendments have been introduced. These include:

  • An amendment by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to repeal the limited antitrust exemption under the McCarran-Ferguson Act for health insurers (see previous item).
  • An amendment that would exempt insurers from being included among companies having to pay for major financial institution failures under the proposed systemic risk regulations.
  • Another amendment that would add state insurance regulators as nonvoting members of the council that would regulate the systemically risky companies. "State regulators are uniquely positioned on the front lines of financial regulation and offer critically important perspective, expertise and regulatory data necessary to assess systemic risk," said Jane L. Cline, president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and West Virginia insurance commissioner, in a statement.
  • An amendment by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) that would weaken state pre-emption authorities in the proposed Office of National Insurance (ONI) and designate that a study of insurance regulation would be conducted by the non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) rather than the ONI itself. PIA proposed the GAO language and strongly supports this amendment.
  • An NCOIL amendment that would turn back the regulatory claims on indexed annuities by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), leaving that responsibility firmly with the states.

While these amendments have been introduced, many of them have not been put on the Senate calendar for votes. Many may not see up-or-down votes, because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is expected to push for a vote on the underlying financial reform bill as early as the middle of this week; however that might be pushed into next week. If the Senate approves an overall bill, it still must be reconciled with previous House versions.

PIA Works to Advance Amendment Changing Provision in ONI