Opponents of an optional federal charter for insurers are renewing their fight against their legislation, and the legislators who sponsor it.

"Giving insurers the ability to opt out of state regulation in favor of a legislatively neutered federal agency is nothing other than deregulation by another name,” said Doug Heller, executive director of Santa Monica, Calif.-based Consumer Watchdog in a statement. “It would be disastrous to support federal insurance deregulation as a response to the banking deregulation debacle that has left the American economy in shambles.”

The group also singled out legislative proponents of insurance reform regulation, including Reps. Melissa Bean (D. – Ill.) and Ed Royce (R. – Calif.) and Paul Kanjorski (D. – Pa.) and Sen. Christopher Dodd (D. — Conn.), as the largest receivers of campaign contributions from the insurance industry.

"The insurance industry is using the chaos created by failed federal oversight of other financial players to ask for the same weak treatment and regulatory options given to the banking industry,” Heller said. “And insurers have invested tens of millions of dollars in politicians to help their cause.”

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