02.24.10

Comment On Bipartisan House Passage Of A Repeal Of The Health Insurance Industry’s Federal Antitrust Exemption

"I commend the House’s vote today to eliminate the health insurance industry’s exemption from federal antitrust laws.  Ending this exemption will help ensure that health insurers compete rather than collude.  Members in both chambers recognize that this repeal is needed.  We cannot introduce competition to the health insurance market while allowing the insurance industry to hide behind a special-interest, anachronistic, statutory antitrust immunity.  A study released by the American Medical Association today shows that competition in the health insurance industry is shrinking.  Our laws should not preclude the Justice Department from investigating antitrust abuses that can result in higher prices for consumers.  

"President Obama yesterday expressed his strong support for this repeal.  Majority Leader Reid is also a strong supporter of ending this exemption.  I have been pressing this issue for years and remain strongly committed to ensuring that this repeal is signed into law.  Antitrust oversight of the health insurance industry will provide consumers with confidence that the price they pay is fair, and the product of a competitive marketplace.  I hope the Senate will quickly pass this repeal and send it to President Obama to be signed into law."

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