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Under the Dome by Joel Wood

November 2012
The Odd Couple
The House Financial Services Committee leadership will change this year. While the personalities are similar, the politics may not be.

October 2012
Dirt Bags
We suffer with anti-rebating laws because of a few abusers selling personal lines.

September 2012
Gridlock & Gridluck
Despite gridlock on Capitol Hill, there is some good news for brokers.

June 2012
Chapter 1
Sooner or later the political parties are going to have to work together to constrain the unsustainable cost of healthcare.

May 2012
To Be or Not to Be
Kill it all or don’t kill it at all? That is the question. There’s no such thing as a partial death sentence, except maybe for healthcare reform.

April 2012
Whitewash
Tom Sawyer persuaded his friends to whitewash his fence. Barack Obama has done the same with his claims that healthcare reform will save money.

March 2012
Foot Dragging
Insurance exchanges are halfway houses on the road to the hell of government-run healthcare.

January/February 2012
The New Normal
Congress is underperforming to a new low. And with an election looming, don’t expect improvement. But is there a case for last-minute tax reform that hits brokers in an appeal to voters?

December 2011
Fair Play
Obamacare was born of arcane reconciliation rules. It could die by them.

November 2011
Lovely Thought
Nobody’s buying the idea that Congress will compromise on anything, but somehow it will all work out.

October 2011
Halfway House
Imagine 2013: The House succeeds in partially repealing Obamacare, and only the Republican Senate blocks its path to completely rescinding healthcare reform.

September 2011
Truth & Consequences
Debt ceiling legislation and the tattered economy will play havoc on healthcare reform. But could the outcome be a single-payer system?

July/August 2011
The Big Lie
The new state health insurance exchanges will raise government costs, but federal officials refuse to acknowledge it.

June 2011
Getting Wobbly
The fight to deregulate goes on and on and…

May 2011
Uncivil Disorder
Will Republicans and Democrats learn to get along again?

April 2011
Too Much Booz
Booz Allen overestimates those who will stay with private health coverage and snub government insurance exchanges in 2014.

March 2011
Paying The Price
Call me paranoid, but will Obamacare build a two-tiered system with Cadillac private coverage for highly skilled, high-demand labor and public coverage for everyone else?

January/February 2011
Logic Be Damned
Once again the NAIC shows the states’ self-interest supersedes their ability to work together for uniform regulation.

December 2010
Tweaks and Gouges
Healthcare reform won’t be repealed, but it is likely to be changed in many smaller ways. One man’s legislative tweak is another man’s gouge.

November 2010
Sacramento-ization
This ain’t New Hampshire—and it ain’t like living with Mama. Welcome to gridlock.

October 2010
Mr. Speaker?
If the Republicans take control of the House, will they bring out the knives and slash funding for healthcare reform?

September 2010
Consequential
Council member firms will save millions in unnecessary compliance costs thanks to federal reform of the surplus lines rules.

July/August 2010
Pay Role
The government’s healthcare reform will soon drive up insurance premiums, but the rhetoric keeps pinning the blame on health insurers.

June 2010
Clumsy
In today’s hard-edged partisan congressional culture, it’s nice to see some surplus thought going into insurance legislation. The founding fathers would be proud.

May 2010
The Unknowns
We escaped some very bad reform legislation, but there is still a lot to do and figure out.

April 2010
Vitriol
Wing nuts from both parties feed the partisan frenzy in Congress, and wishing for the old days to return is just yearning for more of the same.

March 2010
Boston Massacre
The Democrats’ healthcare reform initiative may have been thwarted by the election of a 41st Republican senator, but brokers still face some serious threats to their business.

January/February 2010
Ain't Over
It ain’t over ’til it’s over. Healthcare reform now becomes a House-Senate showdown.

December 2009
Hell
Yes, I understand paybacks are hell. But some of the proposed health reforms are simply madness.

November 2009
My Surplus Line
Love Me because I'm just not going away.

October 2009
Principle Survival
We have friends on both sides of the aisle, and our enemies on one issue are our allies on another. And while we may compromise, we will hang onto our principles.

September 2009
Moving Target
Healthcare reform is a moving target. Unfortunately, that target right now is insurers.

July/August 2009
The 15% Solution
If a government health plan is imposed, will it be treated like private plans? Pay premium taxes to states? Allow brokers to sell it?

June 2009
80-20 Rule
Interest group differences stalled healthcare reform for years, but Obama may now have the political muscle to make single payer a reality.

May 2009
Unfair Competition
What if you could create a healthcare plan that could undercut competitors’ costs and force them to subsidize your plan? That’s what Congress is considering.

April 2009
Phantasmagorical
The path of least resistance for Congress may prove hazardous for insurance companies: federal regulation without preemption of duplicative or conflicting state laws.

March 2009
Rain on Our Parade
The excitement and exhilaration in our nation’s capital don’t hide the anxiety over the potential consequences of healthcare reform.

January/February 2009
Yo’ Mama
And you thought the economy would receive the mother lode of Congressional angst. Just wait: Health insurance reform is shaping up to be the mother of all political battles in 2009.

December 2008
Yes We Can
Yes, we can predict the feds are coming, but what happens, no one really knows. The only certainty is that gridlock is over.

November 2008
We Have Options
The AIG debacle could change the way Congress views the Optional Federal Charter.

October 2008
Shattered Glass
This has nothing to do with women butting up against a federal glass ceiling, but everything to do with my foggy crystal ball.

September 2008
Blindsided
None of us saw this one coming. Framing regulatory reform as free competition is getting Congress' attention.

July/August 2008
Captains Courageous
Natural disasters bring out our best and worst. We’re not as bad as our detractors paint us, nor are we as good as we like to think we are.

June 2008
McCain’s Pain
He attacks group health insurance—the one part of the health insurance system that actually works. Why destroy what works instead of the other way around?

May 2008
Playing the Percentages
In Washington, everybody wants to go to heaven, and nobody wants to die. My job is to get something passed in my lifetime—even if it’s not all that I want.

April 2008
Moral Hazard
In the end, Spitzer unmasks his last victim: himself.

March 2008
A Hair's Breadth
We are this close—just one misstep away from Congress turning on us. Pray for good weather and good karma in 2008.

January/February 2008
20/20 Hindsight
Bush may be loathed by most Americans, but for our industry, he's looking better all the time. History may judge him kindly.

December 2007
Being Frank
Massachusetts liberal Barney Frank is prolific in moving legislation and a supporter of many of our key issues.

November 2007
Taking the Lunge
If it feels like déjà vu all over again, it is. Let’s dare to be different and move the optional federal charter idea forward. A little drama never hurt anyone.

October 2007
What? Me Worry?
I’m a partisan, inside-the-beltway Republican who understands that conventional wisdom isn’t always.

September 2007
Nuking TRIA
It could be a tough fall for renewing the federal terrorism backstop. A compromise in the works? Let’s hope it doesn’t go down to the wire.

July/August 2007
No Your Client
When you can’t even give your client a calendar, you know anti-rebating laws are no longer about consumer protection, but industry protectionism.

June 2007
Value Abated

May 2007
One Angry Man

April 2007
The Antitrust

January/February 2007
Smart, Scrappy and Mad

 
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