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Fourth Annual PIA Month Concludes, Pivotal Session of Congress Looms

PIA's fourth annual Political Involvement and Advocacy Month has drawn to a successful close as a pivotal session of Congress is about to begin, during...
August 31, 2009

PIA's fourth annual Political Involvement and Advocacy Month has drawn to a successful close as a pivotal session of Congress is about to begin, during which two issues that are key to PIA members will be addressed. Congress will continue to debate healthcare reform amid the prospect that professional independent insurance agents could get thrown for a loss, depending on what lawmakers do. At the same time, Congress is expected to continue work on regulatory reform.

"The involvement of our members in PIA Month was more critical this year than ever," said PIA National President Ken Auerbach. "With Congress poised to act on issues that are crucial to agents and their clients, our continuing advocacy is imperative. PIA members should be proud of that advocacy in support of our priorities."

PIA National capped off its nationwide series of congressional contacts with the release of the PIA Insurance Foundation's major white paper on the future of insurance regulation (see next item). The white paper was distributed to every Member of Congress.

PIA National Director Bob Shanley met with Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) along with a delegation of PIA members from Connecticut on Monday August 31. "The meeting with Sen. Lieberman went very well," Shanley said. "He agreed with us that the move to pass healthcare reform is going too fast and that slowing it down is a good idea." Shanley added that Lieberman's staff believes that some kind of healthcare reform "is coming."

"It was an important meeting because the National Flood Insurance Program is set to expire again next month," said Ryan Marine, vice president of PIA of Louisiana company member Regions Insurance. Marine and members of PIA of Louisiana met with Rep. Charles W. Boustany. Jr. (R-La.). "This puts me and my policyholders in a very vulnerable position."

"Maine had a successful day for our first time participating in this event," said PIA of Maine national director Gary Blackwell. "We had a very good visit with Rep. Mike Michaud (D-Me.) and were able to get all our points across. I was somewhat surprised at his candor as he told us about a healthcare discussion that took place in a recent caucus meeting with democratic leadership."

Ohio agent Jeff Williamson met for over an hour with the senior legislative aide to Rep. Zack Space (D-Ohio). "He was great, very patient and took over an hour with me. We discussed a lot of issues and he was both attentive and engaged."

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