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Protestors Interrupt NAIC Meeting

Meetings of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) are usually fairly sedate affairs, seeped in insurance technical matters that are more likely to draw...
August 24, 2010

Meetings of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) are usually fairly sedate affairs, seeped in insurance technical matters that are more likely to draw yawns rather than controversy. That changed during the just-completed NAIC summer meetings in Seattle. A meeting of the state Government Liaison Committee was interrupted by a group of protestors yelling that there was an "infestation of lobbyists" in the room. They handed out "lobbyist disinfectant kits" including soap and face masks.  The protestors quickly left the room before security could arrive. Meanwhile, outside of the Washington Convention Center, a group of about 60 protestors were handing out the kits to meeting attendees as they exited the building.

Joshua Welter, a spokesman for the Washington Community Action Network, which organized the protest, said the group was there to support the insurance commissioners' efforts to institute reforms under the new healthcare law, specifically the medical loss ratio (MLR), which is aimed at determining how much of the carrier's premium will be directed toward payment of health care claims versus administrative costs. "We have to support the insurance commissioners against more than a thousand lobbyists," said Mr. Welter. He said the protestors were having some fun but at the same time wanted to underscore the seriousness of the topic.

Speaking before the NAIC, consumer advocate Wendell B. Potter, a member of the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) and a former public relations executive with a major healthcare insurer, called on the commissioners to keep the MLR definition narrow and not allow health insurance interests to broaden it.

MLR Prompts Discussion, Protest at NAIC (National Underwriter 8/16/10)

August 24, 2010