SCREW Update: Embattled Peterson’s Bill Still Reeks of Scam

“Grabbin’ the Ankles”

Capitol observers are reporting some positive modifications in the effort to defeat the SCREW-ing Old People and Charities Act.

The bill, which is headed for conference, was ostensibly an effort by Big Insurance to eliminate so-called Stranger Originated Life Insurance (STOLI) scams, but was actually a back-door way to eliminate ‘life settlements,” an investing tool that gives Oklahoma Seniors and charitable institutions options for estate planning purposes. Big Insurance wants to eliminate ‘life settlements’ in order to pad their obscene profit margins. The bill, authored in the House of Representative by embattled insurance committee chair Ron Peterson, was on a rocket sled to the governor until the OKPNS story and some subsequent stories by other Oklahoma media pulled the covers off the scam. While Big Insurance has lost the element of surprise, many of the onerous items in the bill remain.

Sources say that the Senate, under pressure to fix some of the more outrageous aspects of the SCREW job, have agreed to fix some of the provisions that dictated just how much senior citizens had to receive for their policies lest they face felony charges.

One item that insiders say must be fixed is the power Oklahoma’s incompetent Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland has over such policies. Right now Holland, a toady for Big Insurance, has far too much discretion over the types of companies who would buy life settlements, and could be a backdoor way to stop the life settlement business even if the bad provisions are removed through legislative action. “Holland, who is every bit as big a tool for Big Insurance as Peterson, but far less knowledgeable, could harass and badger companies who want to do life settlement business in Oklahoma, providing yet another way for Big Insurance to prevail, so nothing is fixed just yet,” one observer says.

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