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Democratic Victory in Elections Assessed, New Congress to Alter Insurance Agenda

The fact that the Democrats captured control of the U.S. House and Senate has led to a week's worth of analysis on what it might...
November 14, 2006

The fact that the Democrats captured control of the U.S. House and Senate has led to a week's worth of analysis on what it might mean to the insurance industry.

The day after the election, PIA put out a press release with our initial analysis. Our take - that the Democratic victory will not necessarily mean losses for the insurance industry - seems to have set the pace for the early analysis. The National Underwriter in the headline on its cover story in this week's edition proclaims "Democratic Victory Unlikely to Derail P-C Insurance Agenda on Capitol Hill." The article rounds up the usual suspects, quoting various industry analysts. Of note, PIA is quoted the most extensively, with four paragraphs of comment from Len Brevik and Pat Borowski.

"The more things change, the more they may remain pretty much the same," said PIA Executive Vice President & CEO Len Brevik. "While at first blush, some might be tempted to conclude that Democrats controlling the House and the Senate will be a negative for the insurance industry and for independent insurance agents, that may not be entirely the case."

"When you look at many of the newly-elected Democrats, some are more moderate," Brevik said. "Some who are in line for leadership positions are well-attuned to the importance of the insurance industry to the American economy, such as Rep. Paul E. Kanjorski (D-Pa.), the most senior Democrat on the House subcommittee overseeing the insurance industry. Rep. Kanjorski has a keen appreciation of the key role played by Main Street insurance agents in assuring continued prosperity. And in contrast to campaign rhetoric, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who is in line to be Chairman of the Financial Services Committee, has had a good working relationship with outgoing Chairman Mike Oxley (R-Ohio)."

"In short, it is not a foregone conclusion that the insurance industry will necessarily fare less well in the new Congress," Brevik said. "There will still be many Republicans in both the House and Senate along with President Bush's veto pen to keep any excesses in check. And as far as the Democrats are concerned, we are optimistic that cooler heads will prevail on key insurance issues."

Democratic Victory Unlikely to Derail P-C Insurance Agenda on Capitol Hill
(National Underwriter 11/13/06)

Democratic Congress Not Necessarily Bad for Industry, Says PIA (Insurance Journal 11/9/06)
 
PIA Says New Congress Alters Insurance Agenda (Insurance Broadcasting 11/13/06)