McCarran-Ferguson repeal for health insurers amendment passes on House floor

Jan. 1, 2020
U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar's (R-Ariz.) amendment to H.R. 5, Restoring the Application of Antitrust Laws to Health Sector Insurers, passed on the House floor on March 22.

U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar's (R-Ariz.) amendment to H.R. 5, Restoring the Application of Antitrust Laws to Health Sector Insurers, passed on the House floor on March 22.

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In early 2010, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4626, the Health Insurance Industry Fair Competition Act, which amended the McCarran-Ferguson Act to provide that 1) nothing in the act shall modify, impair or supersede the operation of any of the antitrust laws with respect to the business of health insurance; and 2) Federal Trade Commission Act prohibitions against using unfair methods of competition shall apply to the business of health insurance without regard to whether such business is carried on for profit. This legislation did not become law.

Since 1945, insurance companies have had a “limited” exemption from federal antitrust laws that apply to most other industries assured to them through an act of Congress. The McCarran- Ferguson Act provides that federal antitrust law applies to the “business of insurance” only to the extent that such business is not regulated by state law. The anti- competitive consequences of McCarran-Ferguson impact both consumers and small businesses that have to deal with insurers.

Gosar’s amendment to the McCarran-Ferguson Act has an additional limitation that no class action may be heard in a federal or state court on a claim against a health insurer for a violation of the antitrust laws.

The Automotive Service Association (ASA) supported H.R. 4626, and supports this latest Gosar amendment passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.

To view the amendment in its entirety, visit ASA’s legislative website at www.TakingTheHill.com.

The Automotive Service Association is the largest not- for-profit trade association of its kind dedicated to and governed by independent automotive service and repair professionals. ASA serves an international membership base that includes numerous affiliate, state and chapter groups from both the mechanical and collision repair segments of the automotive service industry.

ASA advances professionalism and excellence in the automotive repair industry through education, representation and member services. For additional information about ASA, including past news releases, go to www.ASAshop.org .

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