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PRESS RELEASE OF MAY 17, 1954, BY JAMES C. HAGERTY, PRESS SECRETARY TO THE
THE WHITE HOUSE. At the invitation of the President, 17 officials of life insurance companies attended a luncheon conference at the White House today to discuss the administration's pending legislative proposal to establish health reinsurance facilities as a function of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Secretary Hobby and other officials of the Department were also present at the luncheon.
At the conclusion of the conference, the life insurance company representatives issued the following statement:
“During our conference with the President there was a general expression on the part of the life insurance company representatives who were present favoring the general objectives of the bill. We believe the measure is directed toward encouraging and stimulating still further the development and expansion of health insurance services and coverage for the American public through voluntary plans. There was discussion at the conference as to how the bill may be improved. The plan includes many sound insurance principles. We feel that provision in the bill dealing with the utilization of State insurance departments under the plan may be further strengthened in order that they may be used to the maximum extent and that the system of State supervision of insurance should not be limited by Federal activity in any field.”
Present at the conference were: Horace W. Brower, president, Occidental Life Insurance Co., Los Angeles, Calif. Asa V. Call, president, Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Co., Los Angeles, Calif. Paul F. Clark, president, John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Co., Boston, Mass. Frederick W. Ecker, president, Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., New York City Louis W. Dawson, president, Mutual Life Insurance Co., New York City W. T. Grant, chairman, Business Men's Assurance Co. of America, Kansas City,
Mo. S. J. Hay, president, Great National Life Insurance Co., Dallas, Tex. Ralph R. Lounsbury, president, Bankers National Life Insurance Co., Montclair,
N. J. Ray D. Murphy, president, Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States,
New York City Powell B. McHaney, president, General American Life Insurance Co., St. Louis,
Mo. Clarence J. Myers, president, New York Life Insurance Co., New York City Adlai H. Rust, chairman of the board, State Farm Life Insurance Co., Blooming
ton, Ill. Eldon Stevenson, Jr., president, National Life & Accident Insurance Co., Nash
ville, Tenn. Carroll M. Shanks, president, Prudential Insurance Co., of America, Newark,
N. J, Frazar B. Wilde, president, Connecticut General Life Insurance Co., Hartford,
Conn. Claris Adams, executive vice president and general counsel, American Life Con
vention, Washington, D. C. Eugene M. Thore, general counsel, Life Insurance Association of America, New
JOHN HANCOCK MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co.,
Boston, Mass., June 10, 1954. Re Administration Health Reinsurance Plan, S. 3114 and H. R. 8356 Hon. CHARLES A. WOLVERTON, Chairman, House Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,
House Office Building, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR CONGRESSMAN WOLVERTON: We in this company thought that your committee might be interested in our position on the administration's reinsurance legislation.
On May 17, 1954, I joined with other life insurance people, after the White House conference, in favoring the general objectives of this proposed legislation. In subsequent correspondence with the White House and at the request of the administration, I pointed out two areas in which the bills could be improved. First, a provision should be inserted that stated nothing in the bill should limit the jurisdiction of any State or of its supervisory officials over insurance; and, second, it should be made clear that the legislation in no way contemplated the further introduction of the Federal Government in the insurance business, even inadvertently.
Since then we have had the opportunity of examining the modifications suggested by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and I am happy to say that these specific points have been adequately covered. It is our belief that life insurance companies can find in this legislation assistance for their efforts to extend this coverage.
Accordingly, this company wholeheartedly supports the bill to implement the administration's reinsurance legislation. Sincerely yours,
PAUL F. CLARK, President.
CONNECTICUT GENERAL LIFE INSURANCE Co.,
Hartford, Conn., June 18, 1954. Hon. CHARLES A. WOLVERTON, Chairman, House Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,
House Office Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR CONGRESSMAN WOLVERTON: The county and the insurance industry would be well served, in my opinion, if your committee reports out favorably the administration health reinsurance plan, H. R. 8356.
The subject has had a good deal of study by my associates and we are satisfied that this would be constructive legislation. In addition, it would have the virtue of reaffirming the soundness and desirability of State regulation of insurance as national policy.
Some have stated that the reinsurance authorized by the bill would be little used. This is a premature judgment and one not possible of advance determination. The probability is strong that if this legislation is passed by the Congress, it will be used and will be useful to the country. Thank you for your consideration of this recommendation. Sincerely,
FRAZAR B. WILDE, President.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE,
State House Annes, Concord, June 17, 1954. Hon. CHARLES A. WOLVERTON, Chairman, House Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR CONGRESSMAN WOLVERTON: In compliance with the action taken by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners at its annual meeting held in Detroit, Mich., June 7 to 11, 1954, I am transmitting to you a copy of a resolution passed by the association on June 11, 1954, in connection with H, R. 8356 dealing with voluntary health reinsurance plans. Respectfully yours,
DONALD KNOWLTON, Insurance Commissioner, State of New Hampshire; President, National
Association of Insurance Commissioners.
RESOLUTION OF NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF INSURANCE COMMISSIONERS
“Whereas the executive committee of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners on April 6, 1954, adopted a resolution approving as being meritorious and in the public interest the avowed and declared objective of improving the public health in the Nation but opposing the enactment of H. R. 8356 and S. 3114 (83d Cong., 2d sess.) in the form introduced in Congress and copies of such resolution were transmitted to the congressional committees considering such legislation; and
“Whereas since that time officials of the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and interested members of this association have, in a cooperative effort, discussed changes in the bills to the end that objections thereto might be met; and
"Whereas certain definite amendments have been proposed which furnish further guaranties against Federal regulation of insurance to which regulation all parties are opposed and officials of the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare have agreed to consider other changes which further study of the bill may disclose to be desirable; and
"Whereas this association desires to cooperate further to the end that all practical measures for expanding the voluntary health system of this Nation, consistent with the existing pattern of free enterprise and of State regulation be adopted: Now, therefore, be it
“Resolved, That in accordance with this resolution, the president of this association is authorized to appoint a special committee consisting of five members of the association to work with the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and appropriate committees of Congress and the insurance industry, to accomplish the ends sought by this resolution with power to suggest and approve amendments to legislation now pending in Congress and to approve such amended legislation subject to ratification by the association.
“(a) The president of this association is authorized to transmit copies of this resolution to the interested committees of Congress and the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare."
Passed June 11, 1954, by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners at its 85th annual meeting in Detroit, Mich.
BLUE SHIELD MEDICAL CARE PLANS,
Chicago 11, Ill., April 15, 1954. Hon. CHARLES A. WOLVERTON, Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,
Room 1334, House Office Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. WOLVERTON: The following tables are enclosed :
(1) Distribution of membership in Blue Shield Medical Care Plans by subscribers and dependents, 1950-53, by States;
(2) Blue Shield Plans classified by method of providing benefits, 1950-53 ; (3) Distribution of Blue Shield enrollment by type of contract, 1950–53 ; (4) Distribution of membership in Blue Shield plans, by sex, 1952 (by States) ;
(5) Distribution of membership in nonmember plans of Blue Shield, by subscribers and dependents, 1950, by States.
We do not have a record of membership in nonmember plans since 1950. If we can be of further assistance please call on us. Sincerely,
COURTNEY H. TABER, Manager, Research Division.
Distribution of membership in nonmember plans of Blue Shield, by subscribers
and dependents, 1950, by State
226, 738 226. 921 55, 856 11,954 57, 358 132, 350 143, 389 36, 210 64, 295 144, 960
408, 870 402, 285 96, 665 18, 904 101, 196 220, 999 250, 457
63, 877 112, 462 1341, 628 2, 017, 343
1, 100, 031
1 Does not include 154,000 welfare members. Distribution between subscribers and dependents not available.
Distribution of membership in Blue Shield plans, by sex, 1952 (by States)?
* 970, 961
69, 363, 904
8, 328, 871
69, 441, 330
1 Based on average membership for the year. Distribution between medical and surgical coverage not
2 Includes children for 1 plan.