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McRaith, Royce Discuss Insurance Regulation in National Journal Forum

Insurance executives, state insurance commissioners and federal officials debated the role of the federal government in America’s state-based insurance regulatory system, in a forum in Washington, D.C., hosted by the National Journal...
April 30, 2014

Insurance executives, state insurance commissioners and federal officials debated the role of the federal government in America’s state-based insurance regulatory system, in a forum in Washington, D.C. hosted by the National Journal. PIA National Director of Federal Affairs Jon Gentile represented PIA at the April 29 forum. Michael McRaith, the director of the Federal Insurance Office (FIO) and Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) delivered keynote addresses.

Rep. Royce, a strong supporter of federal regulation of insurance and a backer of an optional federal charter, spoke in favor of giving the FIO more authority. Royce added that a so-called “hybrid” state-federal system of insurance regulation is sufficient, “for now.” McRaith said the federal government plays an important role, “but we did not call for a federal regulator” in the recent FIO report on regulatory modernization.

McRaith avoided advocating in favor of treating insurance regulation in the same manner as banking regulation, as he did on March 12 when he told another group, “We need to get past the notion that the insurance sector in the United States should be treated separately than any other sector because of this historic debate going back to 1904.” PIA responded to that assertion in a press release.

At the National Journal forum, Rep. Royce said that there is not more transparency in state regulation because “You don’t have a world-class regulator that’s able to oversee or dictate that.” He said that in many states, “You’re talking about elected politicians who become the regulatory apparatus and often times are working on their next campaign. It’s not the same discipline as you see at the Fed.” Royce said he’s not sure that an elected system “is in any way commensurate with the public interest.”

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