There was probably as much surprise felt in the insurance industry as elsewhere over the Republican Party victory in the November midterm elections, but it's not an unpleasant surprise for the industry, according to analysts. Good news is more likely than bad on most federal issues, and no unfavorable changes are expected to result with regard to HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).
At press time, President Bush had called for Congressional agreement on terrorism insurance before the body adjourned on November 15. "The Hill staff and the White House have agreed to text of an agreement on terrorism insurance legislation, but the future of the bill remains uncertain," says Anne Sittmann, a spokesperson from the Washington office of the National Association of Independent Insurers (Des Plaines). "Overall, we view the results of the election as good for us and bad for the trial bar," Sittmann adds.
With regard to HIPAA, "I don't think Bush is going to put himself on the line to further weaken HIPAA, because he already did that in a very visible way in August," says attorney Lisa Sotto, Hunton & Williams.
Anthony O'Donnell has covered technology in the insurance industry since 2000, when he joined the editorial staff of Insurance & Technology. As an editor and reporter for I&T and the InformationWeek Financial Services of TechWeb he has written on all areas of information ... View Full Bio