Ex Regulators To Back Federal Role

National Underwriter News
Posted June 16, 2005

Washington - Four former insurance commissioners are expected to voice support for legislation creating federal standards for insurance regulation next Thursday at a hearing of a subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee.

A notice of the scheduled hearing before the Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises sent to all members of the Committee was obtained by The National Underwriter today.

Committee staff officials confirmed the hearing.

Speakers who are expected to attend include Greg Serio, former New York commissioner; Lee Covington, former Ohio commissioner; Nat Shapo, former Illinois commissioner; Mike Pickens, former Arkansas commissioner, sources said. Former Texas insurance commissioner Robert Hunter is also expected to testify, the sources said.

The subcommittee is headed by Rep. Richard Baker, R-La., who has played a key role in drafting the State Modernization and Regulatory Transparency Act (SMART) legislation.

The hearing will be held just after the National Association of Insurance Commissioners completes its summer meeting in Boston. The conclave starts full sessions tomorrow.

The House committee has voiced irritation with the NAIC and its members for giving the appearance of being reluctant to give the panel's staffers input into the SMART legislation, which the committee leadership hopes to introduce this summer, before Congress holds its normal August recess.

The NAIC has sought to reassure Rep. Baker, Rep. Mike Oxley, R-Ohio, chairman of the full committee and committee staffers that it will cooperate, although it has made clear it has major philosophical and substantive concerns with the bill. In general, the NAIC believes the bill is an unnecessary intrusion into state insurance regulation.

Copyright © 2005 by National Underwriter News

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