Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS) is building bipartisan support among his colleagues to repeal the insurers' antitrust exemption in the 1945 McCarran-Ferguson Act. Lott says he expects to cosponsor legislation with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and will model the approach after a bill (S. 4025) that they introduced last year with Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Arlen Specter (R-PA), the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. That bill would have given the FTC jurisdiction over antitrust matters but would not haven preempted state law. This past fall on the Senate floor, Sen. Leahy said the McCarran-Ferguson Act "is no longer a justified or practical law" and stifles competition. Look for hearings as early as April 2007.
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