Rep. Gosar Makes the Case for Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act before House Judiciary Committee

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Washington, DC, February 16, 2017 | comments
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following excerpt from his testimony before the House Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law during a legislative hearing on his bill, H.R. 372, the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act of 2017:
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For Immediate Release

Date: February 16, 2017

Contact: Steven D. Smith

Steven.Smith@mail.house.gov

 Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following excerpt from his testimony before the House Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law during a legislative hearing on his bill, H.R. 372, the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act of 2017:

“As Congress once again faces the preeminent task of repairing our nation’s health care system, first and foremost, we must establish the proper foundation for a competitive and consumer-driven health insurance marketplace. The Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act of 2017 will restore the application of federal anti-trust and competition laws to the health insurance industry. 

“Ending this special-interest exemption is the essential first step to broader healthcare reform. Popular cost-reducing reform priorities – such as selling insurance across state lines and developing diverse consumer-driven plans – are predicated on the robust competitive markets this bill will ensure.

“As a healthcare provider for more than 25 years, I understand first-hand the importance of a competitive and dynamic health insurance market. Patients, doctors, and hospitals alike benefit when health insurers compete to provide a variety quality coverage options. 

“Imagine what could exist when we put the patient first and demand that health insurance companies compete for their business. This market should be patient-centric, provide a variety of affordable, quality options, and empower patient involvement and accountability.

“The passage of the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act into law is an important first step towards increasing competition in health insurance markets, and will assist with setting the foundation for real, competitive, and patient-centered healthcare reform.”



Background:

Congressman Gosar’s full statement from today’s hearing can be found HERE

Video of today’s hearing can be found HERE

The full text of the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act of 2017 can be found HERE.

The Congressman’s legislation is endorsed by: American Dental Association, American Optometric Association and American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.

The Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act of 2017 amends 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. These antiquated exemptions are no longer necessary. 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.

Repeal of the specific sections of the McCarran-Ferguson Act which apply to health insurance has bipartisan support. A form of this legislation passed the Democratic-controlled House during the 111th Congress 406 - 19 (Roll no. 64) and passed the Republican-led House in the 112th Congress by a voice vote.

This anti-trust reform provision is included in the Republican Study Committee’s healthcare reform bill and discussed in the Speaker’s “A Better Way” white paper.

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