Rep. Gosar Introduces A Bill To Increase Competition in the Health Insurance Industry

U.S. Congressman Paul Gosar, DDS (AZ-01) has introduced H.R. 1150, The Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act of 2011 (“CHIRA”), legislation that would repeal the McCarran-Ferguson Act, which was passed in the 1940’s and exempted all insurance companies from federal anti-trust laws.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                                      March 17, 2011

CONTACT:                                                                                                    Stefani Zimmerman   

                                                                                                                        202-225-2315

Congressman Paul Gosar Introduces H.R. 1150, the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act of 2011

Calls for an end to the anti-competitive practices of insurance companies that increase the cost of health care and limits predatory class action lawsuits

U.S. Congressman Paul Gosar, DDS (AZ-01) has introduced H.R. 1150, The Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act of 2011 (“CHIRA”), legislation that would repeal the McCarran-Ferguson Act, which was passed in the 1940’s and exempted all insurance companies from federal anti-trust laws.   The passage of H.R. 1150 would ensure that health insurers and medical malpractice insurers are subject to federal antitrust and unfair trade laws that prevent collusion, price fixing, bid rigging, or market allocations.  Almost all industries in the United States are subject to federal anti-trust laws, and there was no rational reason to exempt the insurance industry.  This bill will also set in motion the ability for insurers to sell policies across state lines which should promote competition and benefit consumers. 

Further, H.R. 1150 would protect insurance companies as they adjust to the repeal of the McCarran Ferguson Act by prohibiting class action lawsuits for violations of the anti-trust law.  The bill addresses predatory class action suits that often benefit only the lawyers bring the suit and result in little or no tangible benefit to consumers.  This bill is a step forward for health care reform as the Congress continues to consider real, patient based, competitive health care reform.  By tearing down barriers to competition within the insurance industry, the patient will benefit with lower prices and more choices.

“As a health care provider I have experienced first-hand the difficulties patients face with their insurance companies,” said Dr. Gosar.  “The Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act of 2011 would open up competition in the health insurance market place and finally put an end to the unfair advantage that the insurance industry has had over the patient.  Insurance companies should not be given special exemptions over any other industry- they too must learn to compete in the marketplace so that the patient has more affordable options and better access to care.”

Dr. Paul Gosar is serving his first term in Congress as the Representative to Arizona’s First Congressional District.  As a healthcare provider and small business owner, Gosar is focused on bringing jobs back to the district, reforming health care, reining in government spending and ensuring that his constituents are involved in the solution process.  For more information, visit his website at www.gosar.house.gov

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