Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Repeal McCarran-Ferguson Antitrust Exemption for Insurance Companies

From the Academy of General Dentistry

Repeal McCarran-Ferguson Antitrust Exemption for Insurance Companies
Support H.R. 1583

Are you tired of insurance companies treating you unfairly? Did you know that they can treat you unfairly because they have an anti-trust exemption? Well, there might just be an opportunity to change that! H.R. 1583, the Insurance Industry Competition Act of 2009, would make federal antitrust laws applicable to insurance companies by amending the McCarran-Ferguson Act to repeal the antitrust exemption for the "business of insurance" set in place nearly 65 years ago.

The current exemption allows insurance companies to share related information through practices such as cooperative ratemaking efforts and to fix prices and allocate markets. This bill, however, would allow the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice to address unfair methods of competition in the insurance business; federal oversight of insurance companies could ensure that the industry does not engage in anticompetitive conduct like price fixing, agreements not to pay, and divvying up geographical areas.

The opposition by the insurance companies to this bill is tremendous and you need to tell your Member of Congress how important passage of this bill is for you, your patients and your practice. Please urge your Representative to support repeal of the federal antitrust exemption for insurance companies. (AGD is grateful for the American Dental Association working with Congressman DeFazio to introduce this legislation.)

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