Who Makes The Rules?

The Los Angeles Times highlighted today a troubling aspect of Baucus's health care reform bill. The bill basically gives a non-governmental non-profit, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners the power to write law.

From Baucus's Mark:

Enforcement Mechanism
. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) will devise an NAIC Model Regulation within 12 months of enactment that is consistent with the new Federal law with regards to Federal health insurance rating, issuance and marketing requirements. This model becomes the new Federal minimum standard without any further Congressional action. The new model should be developed by NAIC with input from all NAIC members, health insurance issuers, consumer groups and other qualified individuals. Representatives shall be selected in a manner so as to assure balanced representation among the interested parties.
The main problem with this, besides handing over the Congressional power to make laws to a non-governmental association, is that:

"The NAIC is clearly an organization that is dominated by the insurance industry," said California Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, a former state insurance commissioner...

The group's 56 members are public officials -- the elected or appointed chief insurance regulators of the states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories -- responsible for enforcing laws that vary widely in rigor depending on jurisdiction.

But the association itself is a private organization not subject to open meetings and public records law, noted J. Robert Hunter, insurance director of the Consumer Federation of America and a former Texas insurance commissioner.

"They have no transparency," he said.
If trusting the power to write the rules governing consumer protection to a non-government group with no transparency isn't bad enough, it gets worse. Members of the NAIC have gone on to get lucrative jobs at private insurance companies.

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