Legislation was introduced on Sept. 28 in the House to create an optional federal charter that is being called a “companion” bill to similar legislation introduced in the Senate in April.
“I believe the time has come for both houses of Congress to address the inefficiencies in the insurance marketplace,” Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., said in introducing the bill, the National Insurance Act of 2006.
The bill “would create a federal regulatory agency within the Treasury Department; however, it would leave the current state regulatory system in place,” he added.
Seeking to assuage concerns voiced by critics after the Senate bill was introduced, Royce said that under his bill, “an insurance provider could choose to be regulated by the 50 states or by the Office of National Insurance.”
The concept, he said, is “not new,” noting that the “banking system has lived under such a framework for much of our nation’s history.”
Royce also said he “applauded” the efforts and leadership of Sen. John Sununu, R-N.H., and Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., the authors of the Senate bill.