The president of the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) charges the proposed Consumer Protection and Regulatory Modernization Act is deregulation in the guise of regulation.

The bill, authored by Reps. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Melissa Bean (D-Ill.), would create an Office of National Insurance to oversee the insurance industry. Critics, such as PIA National President Kenneth Auerbach, contend it would weaken insurance oversight and eviscerate the state insurance regulatory system.

"This proposal does not seek to fix any of the problems that led to the financial meltdown," Auerbach says. "At a time when, out of necessity, the federal government is determining how to strengthen regulation, this proposal goes in the opposite direction.

Auerbach contends the bill does nothing to address systemic flaws in the financial services industries and is just the latest attempt to create an optional federal charter for insurers. "This bill is just more of the same," he says. "This is the same tired, old proposal that its backers have tried and failed to advance for many years. It is still a bad idea, and applying perfume and lipstick to it will not make it acceptable."

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