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NAIC CEO Nelson 'Ready to Fight Immediately' for State Regulation

By Cravens Staff | Apr 21, 2013

In recent years, the encroachment on the rights of states by the federal government has increased exponentially. This overreaching by federal agencies has begun to see push-back from the states. In the insurance industry, specifically, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which is overseen by the Federal Insurance Office (FIO), has begun to raise some of the greatest concerns. 

 In a recent article in Property Casualty 360 on the subject by Elizabeth D. Festa, she details the efforts of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) to raise support for the fight to retain the right to regulate insurance on a state level.

National Association of Insurance Commissioners CEO Ben Nelson, and a group that says it is poised to defend state regulation, upped the rhetoric against federal insurance supervision while at an event here.

“Folks may look at us as if we are protecting our turf, [but] with any assault on state regulation, I am out of my chair, ready to fight immediately,” said the former U.S. Senator from Nebraska, NAIC official, state regulator and governor during his first NAIC meeting as the association's CEO. “State regulation is worth protecting.”

At a recent NAIS meeting, Nelson continued to explain the organizations commitment to fighting for states rights with a simple warning to the FIO. 

Nelson spoke a gathering during the NAIC's Spring Meeting sponsored by the States Alliance for Balanced Insurance Regulation (SABIR), which states in literature that “every day the specter of federal regulation grows and the onslaught against states’ rights continues.” The group tells state regulators, "We fight for you!”

Nelson reiterated his request that the Federal Insurance Office stay "in its own lane." Nelson says the FIO has yet to overstep its intended bounds, but added that there is a lot of “uncertainty” out there about its role, and that “clarity is our ally.”

As the federal encroachment continues against state regulatory authority, groups such as the NAIC will hopefully fight hard to retain the rights of the states in this area.