Following the revelations that Max Frankel had "looted $200 million from the insurance companies he owned" over a nine-year period, the General Accounting Office investigated how this could occur. Its report, issued in the fall of 2000, fingered weak enforcement by states' insurance commissioners and by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. With insurance regulation taking a more prominent role in state legislatures' 2001 legislative sessions, insurance commissioners and the association face a test: "Can they adapt to industry pressures without sacrificing consumer protection and still maintain a regulatory system worthy of the name?...If insurance commissioners don't meet industry's needs, pressure is likely to mount in Washington for a federal substitute." But states would lose significant revenue if the federal alternative were implemented -- of the $10.2 billion that insurance companies pay to states in premium taxes and fees, only $829 million goes towards regulatory budgets.
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