Thursday, October 15, 2009
Democrats launch attack on insurer exemption
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday called for an amendment to the health care reform bill that would remove the long-standing antitrust exemption for insurers, echoing a push by other Democrats to crack down on the industry.
Schumer's push comes on the heels of a controversial industry-sponsored report released over the weekend that makes the case that insurance premiums will go up by as much as $4,000 per family by 2019 if the Senate Finance Committee legislation is signed into law. The release of that report by the industry group America’s Health Insurance Plans sparked angry blowback from Democrats in both chambers.
In the House, where Democratic leaders are exploring the issue further, Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.) has introduced legislation that would essentially end McCarran-Ferguson and give the federal government the right to regulate insurers at the national level.