David Birnbaum is annoyed.
He’s not angry or emotional and certainly not losing his cool, but the veteran consumer advocate is definitely annoyed with how this particular conference call on insurance disclosures is going.
An executive with the American Council of Life Insurers is taking a combative stance on issues raised by the Center for Economic Justice, the organization Birnbaum heads. The bespectacled, amiable Birnbaum, known to all as “Birny,” responds with an uncharacteristically edgy tone.
“We appreciate the vigor in which ACLI is presenting its views,” he says calmly. “Unfortunately, in this instance, it’s incorrect on the points that it brings forth.”
A quick vote is taken on an ACLI proposal to combine two disclosure documents and it is shot down. Birnbaum’s position carries the call.
It’s a win for Birnbaum — a small win, but a win nonetheless. Twenty years ago, Birnbaum left the regulator side of insurance to fight for consumers.
He takes wins wherever he can find them.