Washington, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law Subcommittee Chairman Tom Marino (R-Pa.) issued the following statement praising the House Judiciary Committee’s approval of the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act of 2017 (H.R. 372) by voice vote.
“Obamacare is collapsing, and hardworking Americans are the ones who are suffering because of this poorly designed law. The American people are asking Congress to take action to stop the rising costs of healthcare in the wake of Obamacare’s failure, and today’s action by the House Judiciary Committee is one of the first steps to fixing the healthcare marketplace after the disasters of the previous administration.
“Repealing the McCarran-Ferguson antitrust exemption for the business of health insurance will assist in Congress’s larger goal of restoring competition to the healthcare industry and reversing the trend of rising payments and market consolidation. However, this repeal must be coupled with larger changes to the existing regulatory scheme.”
Background: In 1945, Congress passed the McCarran-Ferguson Act, which exempts the business of insurance from federal antitrust regulation to a limited extent. The Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act would have the effect of altering the McCarran-Ferguson Act’s federal antitrust exemption so that it no longer applies to the business of health insurance. The McCarran-Ferguson Actwould remain in effect for other types of insurance (e.g., car insurance or property insurance), thus maintaining a narrowly tailored federal antitrust exemption for certain practices relating to the provision of those types of services.