Washington — While it is widely held that legislation creating an optional federal charter (OFC) for insurers is unlikely to pass during an election year, this perception has done little to dull the intensity of the debate. In recent weeks, a series of public broadsides from protagonists on both sides of the issue have made this abundantly clear.

The opening salvo came from Marc Racicot, president of the American Insurance Association (AIA), Washington, and staunch backer of an OFC, who penned an open letter to Sandy Praeger, Kansas Insurance Commissioner and current president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Washington, (NAIC), urging NAIC to reconsider its opposition. “As an industry, insurers need a modern and efficient regulatory structure that reacts quickly to rapid changes in the marketplace and serves our consumers effectively in the most competitive way,” the letter states. “It is only through a federal charter option that this can be achieved.”

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