Members of the U.S. Senate approved H.R. 1418, a bill that would repeal a partial antitrust exemption for health insurers, and for dental insurers, by a voice vote Tuesday.
The House approved an identical version of the “Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act of 2020″ bill by a voice vote Sept. 21.
Congress is now sending the bill to the desk of President Donald Trump. The president could sign the bill or veto it. If he decides to veto the bill, Congress could try to overturn the veto, or it could suspend work on the bill.
- The text of H.R. 1418 is available here.
- An article about how some state lawmakers with an interest in McCarran-Ferguson see the matter is available here.
H.R. 1418 would change part of the McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1945, a law that establishes the framework for how the federal government shares oversight of insurance with state insurance regulators. One section exempts insurers from federal antitrust oversight under the Sherman Act.
H.R. 1418 would add a section that states that, “Nothing contained in this act shall modify, impair, or supersede the operation of any of the antitrust laws with respect to the business of health insurance (including the business of dental insurance and limited-scope dental benefits).”
The bill contains exemptions for insurer efforts to collect and analyze experience data: to perform actuarial services, “if such contract, combination, or conspiracy does not involve a restraint of trade,” and efforts to develop standard insurance policy forms.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., introduced the bill in the Senate together with Sen. Matt Daines, R-Mont.
Reps. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., and Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., introduced the bill in the House.