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POLITICS

Nelson increased federal involvement in insurance, then got a job dealing with federal regulation of insurance

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Timothy P. Carney

“I am honored to serve as CEO during such an important and exciting time in the regulatory community,” says the newest chief of the National Association Insurance Commissioners, Ben Nelson, who was a U.S. Senator until about three weeks ago.

What makes this “such an important and exciting time in the regulatory community” regarding insurance? Two laws mostly — the Affordable Care Act and the Dodd-Frank financial regulation.

Ben Nelson, as a Senator, provided crucial support for both of these bills.

So, Nelson, as a Senator, worked to make himself more valuable to these industries by increasing regulations and subsidies for them.

This is one reason moderates have the quickest track to K Street. Their economic vision is generally both pro-business and pro-government. Whatever effect this has on business and the economy, it makes lots of work for lobbyists.

Like Democratic moderate Evan Bayh before him, Nelson is taking two K Street jobs. In addition to the NAIC, Nelson will be a “senior partner” at public affairs firm Agenda.

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