February 12, 2010
Contact: Aaron Hunter 202-225-2040
Rep. Susan Davis Votes to Inject Competition into the Health Insurance Marketplace
Bill Lifts Antitrust Exemption for the Health Insurance Industry
Washington – Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) voted today to ensure that American consumers get a real choice and a fair deal when purchasing health insurance. The Health Insurance Industry Fair Competition Act (H.R. 4626) will take away the anti-trust exemption for health insurance companies, requiring them to compete fairly and adhere to the same antitrust laws as other companies. Davis is an original cosponsor of H.R. 4626.
“This is about patient protection,” said Davis. “When just a few companies dominate the marketplace the consumer ends up on the losing end. Antitrust laws are designed to make sure all companies are playing by the same rules, giving the American people a greater choice.”
Health insurers that were previously exempt from antitrust laws will now bear legal responsibility for price fixing, dividing up territories among themselves and sabotaging their competitors in order to gain a monopoly in the marketplace. Such practices have been outlawed in other industries for decades.
The legislation is supported by numerous groups including the American Hospital Association, American Nurses Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, Consumers Union, Consumer Federation of America, Center for Justice and Democracy, and U.S. PIRG.
H.R.4626 passed the House of Representatives on a vote of 406-19.