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Weekly news through Dec. 9

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Weekly news through Dec. 9

S&P Global Market Intelligence offers our top picks of insurance news stories and more published throughout the week.

Risk & Regulation

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would rein in some of the international insurance regulatory oversight activities of federal agencies.

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Housing and Insurance Subcommittee Chairman Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., issued draft principles for flood insurance reform that would require mandatory use of reinsurance or capital markets alternatives in line with the risk profile of the flood coverage.

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In electing Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., to head the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Republicans not only gave the gavel to someone who was key to their victory in retaining control of Congress but also a fierce opponent of the Affordable Care Act.

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services agreed to extend the 1115 Medicaid waiver for the Insure Oklahoma program to Dec. 31, 2017.

In New York, a state regulation will expand Medicaid to offer gender-transition care to youths in the state, effective Dec. 7.

P&C

Liberty Mutual Insurance agreed to acquire Ironshore Inc. from Fosun International Ltd. for an estimated purchase price of approximately $3 billion. The expected deal value would rank second highest for Liberty Mutual since its 2001 reorganization into a mutual insurance holding company structure.

Following the deal announcement, Moody's placed Ironshore's ratings on review for upgrade.

Ironshore also terminated its agreement to acquire the remaining 80% equity interest in Lexon Surety Group LLC and its surety-related affiliates.

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Athene Holding Ltd. announced the pricing of the IPO of 27 million of its class A common shares at $40 per share. Athene's selling shareholders raised $1.1 billion in the IPO, The Wall Street Journal reported.

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Days before an expected interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve, American International Group Inc. CFO Sid Sankaran indicated that AIG views a rising rate environment as a tailwind for multiple lines of its business.

Life and health

Genworth Financial Inc. President and CEO Thomas McInerney and a top executive from China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co. Ltd. will meet in a closed session with state insurance regulators to discuss China Oceanwide's proposed acquisition of Genworth.

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The antitrust trial of the U.S. Justice Department's lawsuit against the pending merger between Aetna Inc. and Humana Inc. began Dec. 5 with the parties presenting different visions on how the deal would impact Medicare and Affordable Care Act exchange business, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Separately, a recent decision by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims related to the ACA's risk corridor program now requires Humana to essentially write off $591 million of receivables outstanding as of Sept. 30.

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The U.S. Department of Labor's Conflict of Interest Rule could impact certain aspects of Principal Financial Group Inc.'s 2017 operating metrics, but the company is well-positioned, according to executives.

Lincoln National Corp. President and CEO Dennis Glass expects the fiduciary rule's implementation to be delayed but said his company is prepared for the April 2017 target date.

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The share of the population with health coverage climbed to 90.9% in 2015 from 86.0% in 2013, primarily due to the ACA, according to a study by the Office of the Actuary at the CMS.

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