How to Regulate Insurers in a Global Economy

National Journal hosted policymakers and insurance-industry representatives to talk about the future of insurance regulation in the United States.

National Journal
Clara Ritger
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Clara Ritger
April 29, 2014, 5:57 a.m.

In­sur­ance ex­ec­ut­ives, state in­sur­ance com­mis­sion­ers, and fed­er­al of­fi­cials de­bated the role of the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment in Amer­ica’s state-based in­sur­ance reg­u­lat­ory over­sight mod­el at a Na­tion­al Journ­al event Tues­day un­der­writ­ten by Zurich.

Rep. Ed Royce, a Re­pub­lic­an from Cali­for­nia who be­lieves great­er fed­er­al over­sight could lead to lower prices for con­sumers, said Amer­ica’s frag­men­ted in­sur­ance reg­u­lat­ory sys­tem — gov­erned by the states — will leave the United States be­hind as the glob­al mar­ket presses ahead.

“I’ve seen the enorm­ous frus­tra­tion on the European side in the reg­u­lat­ory com­munity,” Royce said. “I’ve seen the frus­tra­tion that the Europeans have felt in deal­ing with state in­sur­ance com­mis­sion­ers who are not on the same page.”

On a loc­al level, state-by-state reg­u­la­tion hurts con­sumers be­cause their plans aren’t port­able, Royce said. Con­gress is soon ad­dress­ing the prob­lem faced by the mil­it­ary — the in­ab­il­ity of troops who trans­fer to a dif­fer­ent base to carry their plans with them — but even chil­dren who go to col­lege still have trouble, Royce said.

“Hav­ing at­ten­ded work­ing groups over the years on the ques­tion of in­sur­ance and com­pat­ib­il­ity across mar­kets, I have watched that struggle in the U.S.,” Royce said.

Royce, along with Mi­chael McRaith, the dir­ect­or of the Fed­er­al In­sur­ance Of­fice, de­livered the key­note ad­dresses at the event in The Hamilton in Wash­ing­ton.

McRaith said that the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment already plays an im­port­ant su­per­vis­ory role in reg­u­lat­ing the in­sur­ance in­dustry, and that it makes sense for states to take the lead be­cause state in­sur­ance de­part­ments provide im­port­ant loc­al sup­port for con­sumers.

“We should be sup­port­ive of ef­forts to de­vel­op in­ter­na­tion­al stand­ards and en­cour­age a level play­ing field [for U.S. in­sur­ance com­pan­ies],” McRaith said.

“We need to build on the strengths of the state sys­tem,” he said. “The fed­er­al gov­ern­ment plays an im­port­ant role, but we did not call for a fed­er­al reg­u­lat­or.”

Na­tion­al Journ­al‘s Nancy Cook, eco­nom­ic and do­mest­ic policy cor­res­pond­ent, mod­er­ated the event.

What We're Following See More »
ONE WEEK
Senate Votes To Fund Government
1 minutes ago
BREAKING
ON TO SENATE
House Passes Spending Bill
46 minutes ago
BREAKING

The House has passed a one-week spending bill that will avert a government shutdown which was set to begin at midnight. Lawmakers now have an extra week to come to a longer agreement which is expected to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year in September. The legislation now goes to the Senate, where it is expected to pass before President Trump signs it.

FULL CABINET IN PLACE
Acosta Confirmed As Labor Secretary
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Alexander Acosta was confirmed Thursday night as Labor secretary, officially filling out President Trump's cabinet on day 98 of his presidency. Nine Democrats joined every present Republican in voting to approve Acosta, with the final tally at 60-38. Trump's first choice for Labor secretary, Andrew Puzder, withdrew his nomination after taking criticism for hiring undocumented workers and for other matters in his personal life.

Source:
HAS WHITE HOUSE BACKING
Hurd to Make Push on Federal IT
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) plans to introduce legislation today designed to help federal agencies update their aging technology—and this time, it has White House backing. Hurd worked alongside White House Office of American Innovation officials Reed Cordish and Chris Liddell in crafting and tweaking the legislation, and called their partnership an 'invaluable' part of the process."

Source:
2,300 JOBS ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK
Tillerson Looking to Slash 9% of State Dept. Workforce
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

"The State Department plans to cut 2,300 U.S. diplomats and civil servants—about 9 percent of the Americans in its workforce worldwide—as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson presses ahead with his task of slashing the agency’s budget, according to people familiar with the matter. The majority of the job cuts, about 1,700, will come through attrition, while the remaining 600 will be done via buyouts."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login