House Bill Aims to Increase Transparency and Health Care Options Through Marketplace Competition
Targeted News Service (Press Releases)
CHICAGO, Illinois, March 1 -- American Dental Association issued the following news release:
The American Dental Association (ADA) is pleased that Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., and Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., introduced H.R. 1418, the "Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act." This bipartisan legislation would help encourage more competition in the health insurance marketplace by providing that the full range of federal antitrust law applies to the health insurance industry.
This legislation, if enacted, will amend a section of the McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1945, which exempted the insurance industry from important provisions of the Sherman Act and the Clayton Act - acts that have the purpose of ensuring fair competition. If passed, this legislation will help level the playing field between health insurers, providers, and consumers. It may also help to make health insurance more affordable for all Americans.
"It is unthinkable that the health insurance industry has been permitted to avoid accountability for so long under the laws and standards that govern other aspects of American business," said Jeffrey M. Cole, D.D.S., ADA president. "Without repeal, dentists such as myself, my patients, and the public won't know the extent to which they have been affected by the McCarran-Ferguson Act's negative impact on competition within the health insurance industry."
The bill is narrowly drawn to apply only to the business of health insurance, including dental insurance. The ADA hopes its effect will be to remove the apparent hesitancy of the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department to enforce the federal antitrust laws against health insurance companies engaged in anticompetitive conduct. Under the bill, those agencies will not interfere with the states' ability to enforce their own regulations, antitrust statutes and consumer protection laws.
The bill is also co-sponsored by Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif., Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., and Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla.
On February 7, Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., and Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., introduced S. 350, the companion bill to the House's recently introduced legislation. The ADA applauds this bipartisan effort of Congress to deal with this important issue of health care insurance reform.