U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senators Steve Daines (Mont.) and Patrick Leahy (Vt.) announced that their bipartisan bill promoting access to affordable health care by increasing transparency and enhancing consumer protections in the health insurance passed the U.S. Senate and will be headed to the President’s desk to be signed into law. The “Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act” will ensure that health insurance issuers are subject to the same federal antitrust laws prohibiting unfair trade practices, such as price fixing and collusion, as virtually every other industry in our economy.
“Our bipartisan bill will allow for greater transparency and oversight into the health insurance industry and help make health insurance more affordable for Montanans and Americans across the country. I look forward to this commonsense bill being signed into law,” Daines said.
“While ordinary Americans are suffering through an unprecedented, deadly pandemic, multi-billion dollar health insurance companies are boasting record-high profits. It makes little sense that these powerful actors should also benefit from an antiquated exemption allowing them to evade all scrutiny and oversight by our federal antitrust authorities. Our overwhelmingly bipartisan bill would simply subject health insurance providers to our federal antitrust laws – just like every other sector of the American economy. It’s a commonsense bill whose time has come, and I hope President Trump swiftly signs it into law,” Leahy said.
The bipartisan bill amends the McCarran-Ferguson Act to restore the application of federal antitrust laws to the health insurance industry, but does not otherwise interfere with or impact the authority of state authorities to regulate health insurance provided under the act. This bill will help address instances of artificially higher premiums, unfair insurance restrictions, and harmful policy exclusions.
On February 19th, 2019, Senators Steve Daines and Patrick Leahy introduced the bipartisan legislation.