Opening a new front in the financial services reform debate, the American Council of Life Insurance issued the results of a preliminary study this week that touts the cost savings and competitive advantages of creating a federal regulator of insurance.

The study released Wednesday estimates that a federal supervisor-which would be an independent agency or a new Treasury Department unit-could oversee life and health insurers on a $247 million annual budget, or a third less than the combined budgets of the 50 state agencies.

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