Updated – with no comment from Mayor’s office, comment from White.
The insurance commissioner of Washington, D.C. has apparently become a casualty over the controversy dealing with President Obama’s “you can keep your own insurance policy” commitment.
Commissioner William P. White was notified Friday by Deputy Mayor Victor Hoskins, who works for D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, that his services are no longer needed.
This article is based on a written copy of White’s resignation obtained by The National Underwriter; Gray’s office did not respond to requests for comment Saturday.
White, right, issued a press statement Nov. 14 saying that the action by President Obama allowing extension of policy contracts not meeting the Essential Health Benefits (EHB) provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act “undercuts the purpose of the exchanges, including the District’s D.C. Health Link, by creating exceptions that make it more difficult for them to operate.”
White, an independent who is not affiliated with a political party, said in an interview Saturday, Nov. 16, that he concurred with the National Association of Insurance Commissioner’s (NAIC) sentiment, which stated that “This decision continues different rules for different policies and threatens to undermine the new market, and may lead to higher premiums and market disruptions in 2014 and beyond.”
The decision is effective Dec. 2, although, in practice, White left the office the day he was notified. His email refers to Nov. 16 as his last day in government service. He was notified just after returning from an insurance-regulation-related trip to Korea.
White said in an interview that Hoskins told him the city “was moving in a different direction.”
White said he wasn’t entirely surprised at the mayor’s decision, given that this is an election year and things are always sensitive.
White said he was keeping his options open, and although he oversaw banking and securities as part of his office, he is an insurance man by trade.
White was confirmed by the City Council of the District of Columbia on June 7, 2011, by a unanimous vote. He is the chief regulator of the District of Columbia’s financial-services industries but played a large part on the national and international regulatory stages, as well.
White has been very active in policy discussions with the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), the EU-U.S. Dialogue, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), as well as in the District on local policy health insurance matters. White is also member of the Federal Insurance Office (FIO) Federal Advisory Committee on Insurance (FACI).
“I thought he was very bright and articulate, and one of a small number of commissioners who was very involved in international issues,” said Connecticut Insurance Commissioner and the chair of the NAIC’s International Committee, Tom Leonardi, via email. ”He will be sorely missed at the NAIC and I am saddened by the news that he is no longer the D.C. Commissioner.” White was Leonardi’s vice chair.