NU Online News Service, June 19, 1:14 p.m. — Washington
The chairman of the House Financial Services Committee says the National Association of Insurance Commissioners may not be able to achieve the regulatory reforms the insurance industry needs, despite its best efforts.
“I am not here to blame the NAIC for a lack of reforms,” Rep. Mike Oxley, R-Ohio, said during a recent hearing on regulatory reform held by the committee’s Subcommittee On Capital Markets, Insurance and Government Sponsored Enterprises. “To a large degree, their hands are tied.”
Although the Kansas City, Mo.-based NAIC can approve initiative after initiative, state legislatures must act on them, Oxley said.
“Unfortunately,” he said, “it is becoming increasingly apparent that the NAIC may be facing an insurmountable task.”
Oxley said he hopes that the NAIC and state legislators will be able to achieve reform, but he pledged that his committee will not sit idly by.
“We will keep building on our reform efforts and we will not let up until consumers receive the most effective and competitive marketplace that can be created,” he said.
Rep. Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa., the ranking Democrat on the Capital Markets subcommittee, agreed.
“No matter what side one takes in this long-standing debate, it has become clear to me that this is no longer a question of whether we should reform insurance regulation in the United States,” he said. “Instead, it has become a question of how we should reform insurance regulation.”
Subcommittee Chairman Richard H. Baker, R-La., said that while it is not possible to resolve the issue in the short term, he will continue to pursue the efforts.