Rep. Gosar Introduces Legislation to Restore Competition in the Health Insurance Market

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after introducing The Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act of 2015, H.R. 494, legislation that would amend the McCarran-Ferguson Act which exempted the health insurance industry from anti-trust laws:

For Immediate Release
Date: January 22, 2015

 

Contact: Steven D. Smith
Steven.Smith@mail.house.gov

Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after introducing The Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act of 2015, H.R. 494, legislation that would amend the McCarran-Ferguson Act which exempted the health insurance industry from anti-trust laws:

“My legislation seeks to restore competition among health insurance companies and correct a historical error that allowed for an exemption from federal anti-trust and unfair competition laws. Over the decades, and rapidly since the passage of Obamacare, the health insurance market has expanded into one of the least transparent and most anti-competitive industries in the United States.

“After 70 years, it is apparent that the unbridled antitrust exemption created by Congress in the 1940’s was not wise. These antiquated provisions are no longer necessary and there is no reason in law, policy or logic for the insurance industry to have special exemptions that are different from all other businesses in the United States. 

“The government should not be picking winners or losers and the insurance industry should also have to comply with federal anti-trust laws. As a healthcare provider for more than 25 years I understand first-hand the importance of a competitive health insurance market. Hospitals, doctors and patients alike benefit when health insurers compete to provide quality coverage. The passage of my bill into law is an important first step towards ushering in real healthcare reform.”  

Background:

A form of this legislation passed the House during the 111th Congress 406 - 19 (Roll no. 64) and passed the 112th Congress by a voice vote.

This legislation would repeal a section of the McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1945, which exempted the insurance industry from the Sherman Act and the Clayton Act—acts that have the purpose of ensuring fair competition.  This broad exemption was intended to assist newly established insurance companies set sustainable premiums by permitting data sharing between insurance companies.

The current list of original cosponsors for H.R. 494 include Dan Benishek, Austin Scott, Brian Babin, Larry Bucshon, Markwayne Mullin, Diane Black, Marsha Blackburn, Scott DesJarlais, John Fleming, Phil Roe, Chris Smith (NJ), Walter Jones, Mike Simpson, Lloyd Doggett, John Duncan, Mo Brooks, Todd Rokita and Luke Messer.

The full text of the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act can be found HERE.

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