On Monday, February 22, Representatives Tom Perriello (D-Va.) and Betsy Markey (D-Colo.) introduced H.R. 4626, the Health Insurance Industry Fair Competition Act, to repeal the McCarran-Ferguson Act antitrust exemption for the business of health insurance. Removal of the exemption would subject health insurers to federal antitrust regulation, including prohibitions against price fixing and bid rigging, and the jurisdiction of the Federal Trade Commission. H.R. 4626 is designed to protect competition and consumers with respect to health insurance only (note that previous drafts of the bill sought to eliminate the antitrust exemption for medical malpractice insurers as well).
The House Rules Committee issued Resolution 1098 yesterday providing that H.R. 4626 should be considered by the House with 2 hours of general debate. According to industry reports, H.R. 4626 was debated on the floor today and adopted by a vote of 406-19.
The Obama Administration issued a statement yesterday in support of repealing the anti-trust exemption for the business of health insurance.