Although it is highly unlikely that the Affordable Care Act will be overturned in the halls of Congress, that does not mean the fight is over, Bobby Bramlett, Big "I" chairman told a crowd of nearly 1,000 independent agents in Washington on Friday.
Agents are feeling the negative effects of the ACA every day, said Bramlett, speaking at the Big “I” Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America legislative conference. “But as much as we wish we could change it, PPACA is the law of the land and it [has] moved from the legislative to the regulatory phrase,” he said. “While we fight to protect the agent’s role in health delivery. [And it’s] no longer debated in the halls of Congress that doesn’t mean there aren’t important issues on the table as the table as the law is implemented.”
He cited an Iowa law, passed in June 2012, which requires navigators to be licensed and complete training programs as an example of what he would like to see in every state. The Iowa law, Bramlett said, draws a bright line between the activities of a navigator and insurance agents and broker.
“We want to make sure there is a level playing field for everyone,” he said. “We don’t want navigators performing the duties of an agent. … Your government affairs team is fighting to make sure” that happens.
Bramlett said that the Big “I” is on the front lines and behind the scenes “to protect our industry. That is critical to our success. Our relationships on Capitol Hill matter a great deal. We determine who we need to influence in order to move our agenda forward and work to be part of the table where decisions are made,” he said.
Bramlett encouraged all the agents to get to know their member of Congress because “it is vital to continued success.”
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