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Justinian Lane

The Healthcare Insurer Antitrust Exemption

Here’s one perspective on whether it helps or hurts consumers.

With comprehensive health care legislation foundering in Congress, the House Wednesday passed a narrower piece of legislation that lawmakers hope has widespread, populist appeal: repealing the antitrust exemption for health insurers. The measure now goes for consideration to the Senate, where it's prospects are not clear.

Proponents say that the legislation would spur competition among insurers and bring down costs for consumers. Reps. Tom Perriello, D-Va., and Betsy Markey, D-Colo., who are sponsoring the bill, said in a press release it would “end special treatment for the insurance industry that allows them to fix prices, collude with each other, and set their own markets without fear of being investigated.”
But many antitrust experts say that ending the exemption -- by repealing the 1945 McCarran-Ferguson Act -- wouldn't significantly increase competition or reduce premiums.

Source: The Antitrust Exemption For Health Insurers: Meaningful Or Not? - Kaiser Health News

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Posted at 9:51 PM, Mar 12, 2010 in Health Care | Health Insurance
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