PCI urges the House and Senate to finalize legislation supporting the U.S. state-based system and send it to the president’s desk this year.
State-based insurance regulation has helped create the largest, most competitive insurance system in the world, including comprehensive consumer protections as well as transparent and inclusive procedures. In recognition of this, Congress reaffirmed the primacy of state regulation in the Dodd-Frank Act, even as a new Federal Insurance Office (FIO) was created and charged with strengthening the U.S. voice internationally. Unfortunately, instead of having a single, stronger and united voice, the U.S. now has multiple competing voices that are often at odds, opening the door for competing regulatory systems to seek globalization of their standards at the expense of U.S. consumers and competitiveness.
Senators Dean Heller (R-NV) and Jon Tester (D-MT) introduced the bipartisan International Insurance Capital Standards Accountability Act of 2015 (S. 1086) to address many of the insurance-specific issues. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) later introduced legislation (S. 1484), the Financial Regulatory Improvement Act, which includes provisions in S. 1086. In June 2015, the Senate Banking Committee passed S. 1484, and it was subsequently added to the fiscal year 2016 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations legislation (S. 1910). Several bills have been proposed in the House to limit adoption by the Treasury or Federal Reserve of bank-like or global one-size-fits-all standards. This effort has now been consolidated into legislation introduced by House Subcommittee Chairman Blaine Luetkemeyer, H.R. 5143, the Transparent Insurance Standards Act of 2016, which passed the House Financial Services Committee in June 2016.