I’m sure I’m not the only person to see the unconscious irony in the hissy fit that Walter Bell, outgoing president of the National Association of Insurnace Commissioners, had over regulators not being asked for their input in the first round of work on a study being sponsored by the Insurance Legislators Foundation. But when it comes to irony (unconscious or otherwise), you can’t be sure.
The ILF is associated with the National Conference of Insurance Legislators, which for a while now has had a running and escalating beef with the NAIC over the issue of NAIC meetings that are closed to legislators, consumer representatives and the press.
NAIC has been fairly unbending in its insistence that it has the right to hold meetings that are closed to all but state regulators.
This issue has become a rallying cry for the gentleman who is now the president of NCOIL, Rhode Island state Rep. Brian Kennedy.
Kennedy, who is something of a firebrand (and I say that admiringly), has undoubtedly tapped into a large pool of resentment that has built up over the years among state insurance legislators over what they perceive as the NAIC’s high-handed treatment of them.
These legislators feel, after all, that they are elected representatives of the people of their states who make the laws governing those insurance departments and commissioners that make up the membership of the NAIC.