While the insurance industry is state regulated, Washington D.C. has always remained a major player in the business through the introduction of various bills supported and opposed by the industry and through federal involvement in insurance programs such as the National Flood Insurance Program, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act and the crop-insurance program.
In the wake of the financial crisis and the resulting Dodd-Frank financial-reform act, as well as enactment of the healthcare-reform law, the industry is now intensely focused on Washington, wondering how new federal powers and oversight authority will impact all corners of the insurance marketplace.
PC360 Washington editor Arthur D. Postal has compiled a list of the top-20 public and industry figures in Washington D.C. who drive the federal issues of highest importance to insurance professionals.
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Therese (Terri) Vaughan, Ph.D., CEO of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The NAIC maintains a substantial presence in Washington. Vaughan is a key link between NAIC headquarters in Kansas City, Mo., and members of Congress, key federal regulators and industry lobbyists.
Michael McRaith, director of the Federal Insurance Office within the Treasury Department. He is the primary liaison between the industry, federal and state regulators, and legislators on property and casualty and life insurance issues.
Roy Woodall, independent member for insurance issues on the Financial Stability Oversight Council. This federal agency will determine whether an insurer is "systemically significant," and therefore subject to dual federal as well as state regulation.
Daniel Tarullo, a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, which is emerging as a key link in the oversight of insurers who have federal depository institutions, such as thrift institutions. The Fed is coordinating the Fed banks’ oversight of thrift institutions owned by insurers, and Tarullo is emerging as the key link between the Fed banks and the Fed Board on this issue.
Timothy Geithner, secretary of the Treasury and chairman of the Financial Stability Oversight Council. His domain includes not only the FIO, but also the Office of Financial Research, created by the Dodd-Frank Act to provide information on the entire financial-services industry, including insurers.
Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the federal Department of Health and Human Services. She is the key overseer of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, the committee that is in most cases the starting point for legislation affecting the industry.
Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., ranking minority member of the House Financial Services Committee. He was a primary sponsor of the Dodd-Frank financial-services-reform law, and a key voice on regulatory and legislative issues regarding the industry, especially the Volcker Rule, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission. Frank announced late last year that he will not be seeking re-election after his term ends in 2013.
Rep. Judy Biggert, R-Ill., chair of the Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity Subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee. This subcommittee is the starting point for most legislation involving insurance, including issues involving the National Flood Insurance Program, the FIO and the Financial Stability Oversight Council, among other issues.
Rep. Jeb. Hensarling, R-Texas, a member of the Republican leadership of the House Financial Services Committee, and likely successor as chairman of the panel when Spencer Bachus steps down because of term limits.
Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, the committee which must, by law, initiate all issues regarding taxation of insurers.
Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., ranking minority member of the Select Revenue Measures Subcommittee of the House Ways & Means Committee. He is a sponsor of legislation that would change the way foreign property and casualty insurers are taxed.
Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.
Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., ranking minority member of the Senate Banking Committee.
Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, which has primary jurisdiction over tax and revenue issues dealing with insurers.
Leigh Ann Pusey, president and CEO of American Insurance Association, which represents large foreign and domestic insurers.
David A. Sampson, CEO of the Property and Casualty Insurers Association of America, which represents a mix of both large and small primarily domestic insurers.
Jimi Grande, senior vice president, federal political affairs, for the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, which represents mutual insurers, both large and small.
Robert A. Rusbuldt, CEO of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America.
Ken A. Crerar, president and CEO of The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers.