House passes bill to repeal antitrust exemption for health insurers

AHA News Now

The House of Representatives today voted 416-7 to approve the AHA-supported Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act (H.R. 372). The legislation would repeal the antitrust exemption available to health insurers for anticompetitive conduct, including price fixing, bid rigging and market allocation. “The AHA believes that the health insurance industry should be governed by the same antitrust laws and policies that apply in other sectors of our economy, including health care,” said AHA Executive Vice President Tom Nickels in a letter of support for the bill, introduced by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) with 20 co-sponsors. “Any exemptions should be narrow and carefully tailored to achieve a pro-competitive purpose. We articulated our concern about the abuse of market power by large commercial insurers in letters shared with the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division and the Department of Health and Human Services regarding recent proposed health insurance industry mergers. We urged DOJ and HHS to take enforcement action because the potential for anticompetitive conduct aimed at new entrants to the health insurance market by large commercial insurers would harm consumers. Passage of H.R. 372 would further help prevent anticompetitive conduct and increase competition in the health insurance market.”

Topic: Advocacy and Public Policy
Tags: Coverage, antitrust

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