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Advocacy News

Rep. Gosar Reintroduces McCarran-Ferguson Bill, ADA Announces Support

January 30, 2015 Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) this week reintroduced his legislation to authorize the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department to enforce the federal antitrust laws against health insurance companies engaged in anticompetitive conduct. The legislation, called the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act (H.R. 494), would amend the McCarran-Ferguson Act by eliminating the Act’s exemption of the business of health care insurance from federal antitrust enforcement. The proposed legislation would not interfere with the states’ ability to maintain and enforce their own insurance regulations, antitrust statutes, and consumer protection laws.  Because states vary in their enforcement efforts, the impact of the legislation on health insurance companies would differ from state to state, a situation no different from that faced by other businesses.

The bill is narrowly drawn to apply only to the business of health insurance, including dental insurance, and would not affect the business of life insurance, property or casualty insurance, and many similar insurance areas.

The ADA endorsed H.R. 494 this week in a letter to Reps. Robert Goodlatte (R-Va.) and John Conyers (D-Mich.), the chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the House Judiciary committee. The Association will ask its grassroots members this week to contact their representatives in support of the bill.