Three conservative public policy organizations are taking on 33 governors in a battle over state insurance regulation.
The think tanks have written to congressional leaders to oppose a letter supporting state insurance regulation that the governors sent to the leaders of the House Finance Committee and the Senate Banking Committee March 23.
The authors of the think tank letter are Eli Lehrer, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Washington; Wayne Brough, chief economist at FreedomWorks, Washington; and Stephen Pociask, chief economist at the American Consumer Institute, Washington.
The governors asked in their letter that Senate Finance Committee and House Financial Services Committee members “review, and ultimately reject, congressional efforts to create an Optional Federal Charter for purposes of regulating the insurance industry.”
Advocates of the OFC approach want to give insurers and possibly insurance agents and brokers the ability to choose between coming under the jurisdiction of the traditional state-based insurance regulation system or coming under the jurisdiction of a new federal insurance regulatory agency.
The governors write in their letter that they understand the need to modernize the state regulatory system and want to be part of Congress’s regulatory reform process.
Like the governors, the conservative think tanks sent their letter to the chairmen and highest-ranking Republican members of the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee.
The think tank representatives say they reject the assertion “that states…often lead the way with regard to reform and innovation and this is true of insurance regulation.”