Today, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy introduced legislation to eliminate the federal antitrust exemption for health insurance and medical malpractice insurance companies. Citing the current debate about health care reform, Senator Leahy stated that “[w]hile we are debating these solutions, we should not lose sight of the fact that the health insurance industry currently does not have to play by the same, good-competition rules as other industries.”

The proposed Health Insurance Industry Antitrust Enforcement Act would repeal the McCarran-Ferguson antitrust exemption for health insurance and medical malpractice insurance companies with respect to claims of price-fixing, bid rigging, and market allocations. The proposed legislation would not affect the information-gathering or rate-setting activities of any state insurance commission, or other state regulatory body with the authority to set insurance rates. A copy of the proposed legislation is available by clicking here.

Senator Leahy has introduced legislation to repeal the McCarran-Ferguson Act previously, including the 2007 bipartisan Insurance Industry Competition Act, which provided for a broader repeal of the McCarran-Ferguson Act.