Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) announced Friday he will not seek re-election in 2014 and will instead join Cumulus, the talk radio company, according to reports. The 14-year veteran of the U.S. House of Representatives has been a friend to brokers and agents, sponsoring several versions of the medical-loss ratio bill to help save broker commissions slashed by the Affordable Care Act.
As I close this chapter please know that I am not finished with the effort to bring back American exceptionalism," Rogers said in a statement. Not in the sense of a great notion, but in the sense of impacting the hopes and dreams of a great nation and her people. You may have lost my vote in Congress but not my voice. I look forward to building on our successes and confronting America's challenges together.
His first version of the MLR bill in the 112th Congress, H.R.1206, had 221 co-sponsors but did not make it to a floor vote due to a poor score by the Congressional Budget Office. The current bill in the 113th Congress has never made it out of sub-committee.
When introducing the latest legislation in June, 2013, Rogers reiterated the need for agents: The unfortunate consequence is that insurers are dramatically cutting commissions to agents to comply with the MLR rule. This means jobs are being cut, agents and brokers are beginning to disappear, and small businesses and individuals are having a harder time accessing affordable insurance. It is critical that the indispensable role played by licensed independent insurance producers is recognized and protected.
The MLR provision in the ACA says that 85% of large group premiums must go to benefits, leaving 15% for administrative costs and 80% of individual and small group premiums must go to benefits, leaving 20% for administrative costs. With broker compensation being included in the administrative section, industry lobbyists and analyses have said brokers are bleeding money, according to previous EBA reports.
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