Industry the November 2020 issue

Stuck on Pause

Will this fall’s election be accepted, or will we remain at loggerheads? Or worse?
By Ken Crerar Posted on October 30, 2020

Poll after poll indicates we will see massive voter turnout, likely to eclipse 145 million ballots—a marked increase from the 133 million cast during the 2016 election.

And still, I’m worried.

I’m worried that we don’t have a choice any of us is really excited about. I’m worried people think their vote doesn’t matter or worse—that the outcome won’t matter. I’m worried that people feel no ownership of the rest of the ballot despite House, Senate and gubernatorial races across the country. I’m worried about voter suppression and voter intimidation and litigation in states nationwide long after Election Day. By the time you read this, we may be in this very situation.

I’m also worried about The Council’s agenda as an organization representing your firms. We have always supported members of Congress on both sides of the political aisle, focusing more on the issues relevant to the commercial insurance brokerage industry than any partisan agenda. But the environment we find ourselves in now, with bitter divide at the highest levels, threatens our issues and our industry. Whether we have single-party rule or a divided government, when all is said and done, those threats likely remain.

I hear from our government affairs team that there is a lot of bipartisan work being done at the committee level. Why those bills aren’t reaching the floor depends on whom you ask. All I know is there is no real debate going on. No compromise, no cooperation. This is the frustration of so many people.

Despite the dysfunction, our commitment to you is to keep the issues that affect your business and your clients’ business top of mind for lawmakers. There are a handful of issues that are tied up in the lack of negotiations right now. Things like reining in drug costs, ending surprise medical billing, and reforming the National Flood Insurance Program. Our biggest concern remains liquidity relief for our clients and aid for the business community, as well as extension of COBRA benefits while layoffs remain high in the economic wake of COVID-19.

The environment we find ourselves in now, with bitter divide at the highest levels, threatens our issues and our industry. Whether we have single-party rule or a divided government, when all is said and done, those threats likely remain.

As the fate of the Affordable Care Act hangs in the balance, we remain focused on the preservation of the employer-provided group health marketplace.

There’s a laundry list of issues that could add up to a lot of risk for our industry with an even more divided Congress looming ahead.

We need to have a government that works together to move us forward as a country. The pandemic sent a clear message: change is overdue in various aspects of our businesses and our lives. Here’s hoping those at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue get that message, loud and clear.

Don’t be fooled. Every vote counts.

Ken Crerar President & CEO, The Council Read More

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