The Senate voted within the wee hours of Tuesday morning to repeal insurers’ federal antitrust enforcement immunity, sending the invoice to the president’s desk.
The Aggressive Well being Insurance coverage Reform Act would amend the 1945 McCarran-Ferguson Act, which gave insurers federal immunity from antitrust enforcement and delegated main authority to control consolidation within the insurance coverage business.
The invoice permits the Justice Division and the Federal Commerce Fee to control medical insurance markets.
America’s Well being Insurance coverage Plans President and CEO Matt Eyles mentioned the COVID-19 disaster proved that states ought to have the flexibleness to control their very own insurance coverage markets.
“Removing of this exemption provides large administrative prices whereas delivering completely no worth for sufferers and customers,” Eyles mentioned in a written assertion.
The difficulty has superior with vast bipartisan assist this yr as giant, for-profit insurers are perceived to have benefited from decrease healthcare volumes in 2020. The 2016 GOP platform additionally proposed getting rid of insurers’ federal antitrust enforcement immunity.
The Home of Representatives handed the invoice on Sept. 21. The measure was omitted of an enormous COVID-19 reduction and omnibus spending invoice on the finish of the yr, however handed individually by unanimous consent within the Senate.