One reason I am skeptical about the latest efforts to imposefederal regulation on the insurance industry is that I have livedthrough this debate many times over the years, and have yet to beconvinced of the wisdom of moving authority over to Uncle Sam.

About 20 years ago, I tagged along with a group of New Yorkagents during a lobbying trek to Washington. The chief topicwas–what else?–federal regulation! We sat down with Sen. AlfonseD'Amato, the ever-calculating Republican, who shook his head indismay as his constituents made their case to leave state oversightalone.

Noting that an insurer group had recently pleaded for federaloversight, the senator lamented that if the industry could notagree on how it wanted to be regulated, how was he supposed todecide what was best? (He also hated the idea of placating oneindustry sector at the expense of another, when he depended on bothfor campaign contributions.)

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