U.S. House Passes Repeal of Antitrust Exemption for Health Insurers - BodyShop Business
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U.S. House Passes Repeal of Antitrust Exemption for Health Insurers

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The U.S. House of Representatives has passed H.R. 4626, the Health Insurance Industry Fair Competition Act, which amends the McCarran-Ferguson Act to provide that 1) nothing in the act shall modify, impair or supersede the operation of any of the antitrust laws with respect to the business of health insurance; and 2) Federal Trade Commission Act prohibitions against using unfair methods of competition shall apply to the business of health insurance without regard to whether such business is carried on for profit.

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H.R. 4626 is sponsored by Rep. Thomas Perriello, D-Va., and is co-sponsored by 72 members of the U.S. House of Representatives. The vote passed by a wide margin of 406-19.

Since 1945, insurance companies have had a "limited" exemption from federal antitrust laws that apply to most other industries assured to them through an act of Congress. The McCarran-Ferguson Act provides that federal antitrust law applies to the "business of insurance" only to the extent that such business is not regulated by state law. The anti-competitive consequences of McCarran-Ferguson impact both consumers and small businesses that have to deal with insurers.

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The Automotive Service Association (ASA) says it supports H.R. 4626, as it is a first step toward a complete repeal of McCarran-Ferguson that would include property and casualty insurers.


More information:

• See the full text of H.R. 4626

Taking the Hill, ASA’s legislative Web site

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