On June 3-5, RIMS hosted its 14th Annual RIMS on the Hill at the Park Hyatt in downtown Washington, D.C. Most came in on Sunday evening for the opening reception and were treated to a brief welcome by Executive Director Mary Roth and a short RISK PAC presentation by Mike Dunn, Chairman of Dunn Associates.
The following day was focused on educational briefing panels on legislative priorities with highlights featuring a speech by Federal Insurance Office Director Michael McRaith and luncheon speaker, well-known pollster and political pundit, Stuart Rothenberg.
On June 5th, approximately 40 RIMS members descended on Capitol Hill to meet with more than 70 congressional offices to present the views of RIMS and risk managers on federal issues.
RIMS three topics on the Hill this year:
1. NFIP – National Flood Insurance Program - H.R. 1309; S. 1940
While the House of Representatives passed its bill, H.R. 1309, last year, the Senate has yet to act. RIMS anticipates the Senate bill to be on the floor and scheduled for action before the July 4th recess. RIMS supports both bills which include a 5 year re-authorization of NFIP. RIMS argues that a long-term reauthorization makes for good policy as lapses in the NFIP coverage create uncertainty in the housing and commercial property markets, possibly leading to delays in real estate transactions, and adversely impacting the economy. Both bills also include much needed improvements to the floodplain mapping, appeals process and other key reforms (actuarial sound rates) that will put the NFIP back on the path to financial solvency. The bill has bipartisan support and the Congressional Budget Office estimates a $4.9 billion federal debt reduction due to phased in risk-based premiums.
2. Insurance Regulation Modernization - FIO
RIMS advised during meetings that we supported that part of Dodd-Frank which established the Federal Insurance Office (FIO) and stressed continued appropriate funding for the office. As part of Treasury and FIO’s efforts to develop a report on recommendations for insurance regulation modernization, RIMS crafted its own set of recommendations. RIMS supports greater national uniformity for financial solvency, licensing, and collateral requirements for commercial property and casualty insurers. RIMS argues that greater uniformity will lead to efficiencies in process, reduce redundancies, increase US-based insurers ability to compete in the global insurance market and favorably impact taxpayers and policyholders.
3. SMART Act – “Strengthening Medicare and Repaying Taxpayers Act” - H.R. 1063; S.1718
The Medicare Secondary Payer process and the legislative solution for RIMS organizations is getting traction in the House and the Senate. Building upon our successes last year, the legislation continues to garner cosponsors. This proposed legislation attempts to reduce bureaucratic red tape by implementing efficiencies in the current process, making claimants and the Medicare Fund whole much faster than current law. Both bills enjoy broad based bipartisan support and we anticipate receiving a $0 “score” from the Congressional Budget Office.