Encouraged by Rep. Paul Ryan’s focus on fiscal responsibility, many brokers and advisers remain satisfied a week after Gov. Mitt Romney announced his vice presidential pick, saying the seven-term Wisconsin congressman brings a fresh perspective to the presidential election.
By selecting Ryan, Romney is showing he is committed to dealing with the country’s problems head-on, says Robert Rusbuldt, president and CEO, Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America.
“There were many choices the governor could have made that would have been more of a status-quo type of choice, but choosing the Chairman of the House Budget Committee, Paul Ryan, who is a budget and deficit hawk, shows that the governor wants to address challenges and fix the fiscal mess our country is in,” says Rusbuldt. “It was a bold choice and sends a serious signal to the electorate that he is going to address problems and not pretend they don’t exist.”
Joseph H. Deacon III, partner at Charleston, W.Va.-based Deacon & Deacon Insurance Agency, thinks that Ryan is an intriguing choice. He “will keep health care reform and Medicare at the forefront of the debate,” says Deacon, “and, in my opinion, he will help to focus attention to the fiscal and budgetary issues the U.S. is facing.”
Also impressed by Ryan’s fiscal focus, Joel Wood of The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers believes Ryan’s “grasp of budgetary issues is unrivaled, but his grasp of financial services issues is likewise impressive.”
Wood, SVP of government affairs for The Council, is a “big Paul Ryan fan,” and has been “since his very first race.”
It helps that Ryan is “enormously knowledgeable on insurance industry issues,” adds Wood.
Perhaps most important to the industry, Rusbuldt is encouraged by Ryan’s stance that agent and broker commissions be excluded from health reform’s medical loss ratio provision. It’s “a very positive thing,” says Rusbuldt.
“Paul Ryan has been adamantly opposed to Obamacare, as most Republicans are, and he has voted numerous times in the House of Representatives to repeal the law and go back and fix the medical system in the U.S.,” Rusbuldt adds. “Other than Obamacare, which the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America strongly opposes as well, he’s a co-sponsor of the medical loss ratio bill introduced in the House and Senate that would exempt insurance agents from the MLR provisions.”
Additionally, Wood believes most of The Council’s member firms and clients would be “very enthusiastic to see [Ryan] put his imprint on health care reform.”
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