IN REALITY, the gag rule is too loose to work. The NAIC, which imposed it to please insurers with less-than-stellar ratings, saw that recently. State Mutual Life Assurance exploited a loophole when a research firm published incorrect RBC data for it. State Mutual issued a news release with the right figure. Also, publicly traded insurers likely must disclose RBC numbers in Securities & Exchange Commission filings. And the NAIC can't stop the media from publishing data. Used in conjunction with other ratings, RBC is helpful to consumers.