Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Steve Daines, R-Mont., who cosponsored legislation that repealed the McCarran-Ferguson antitrust exemption for commercial health insurers, this week asked the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice to update them by Aug. 4 on what their agencies have done to enforce the law. Enacted in January, the AHA-supported Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act gave the agencies authority over health insurance markets, previously regulated by states.
“Decades of consolidation by health insurance brokers has primed the industry for abuse, allowing insurers to exert market power in order to raise premiums, restrict competition, and deny consumers choice,” the senators said in a letter to the agencies. “Since the CHIRA’s passage in January of this year, neither the FTC nor the DOJ has announced major steps to exercise their expanded antitrust enforcement authority under the new law.”