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Bipartisan Legislation to Reform McCarran-Ferguson Introduced in Congress

The ADA and dentists have been advocating for decades to repeal the 1945 McCarran-Ferguson Act antitrust exemption for the health insurance industry. In February, legislation was introduced in both chambers of Congress and is a win for dentistry.
The ADA and dentists have been advocating for decades to repeal the 1945 McCarran-Ferguson Act antitrust exemption for the health insurance industry. In February, legislation was introduced in both chambers of Congress and is a win for dentistry.

In the Senate on Feb. 6 Sens. Steve Daines, R-Mont. and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt, introduced S. 350, the “Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act”. The bipartisan bill would eliminate the limited exemption to the federal antitrust laws that health care insurance companies have enjoyed since the 1940s. The legislation would not interfere with the states' ability to enforce their own regulations, antitrust statutes and consumer protection laws.

The ADA hopes the effect of repeal 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.

On Feb. 28 the House introduced a companion bill H.R. 1418 co-sponsored by Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore. and Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz. The bipartisan legislation also brought in 8 additional original cosponsors of the bill including: 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.

For more information, visit Actioncenter.ADA.org.
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