WASHINGTON–The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee has introduced legislation that would repeal the antitrust waiver provided under the McCarran-Ferguson Act for health insurance and medical malpractice insurance companies.
The bill is an apparent attempt to pressure the health insurance industry as well as Republicans in Congress to support health care reform legislation now being pushed in Congress by Democrats and the Obama administration.
“A few industries have used their influence to obtain a special, statutory exemption from the antitrust laws, and the insurance industry is one of them,” Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said in introducing the legislation. “In the markets for health insurance and medical malpractice insurance, patients and doctors are paying the price, as costs continue to increase at an alarming rate. Insurers should not object to being subject to the same antitrust laws as everyone else.”