WASHINGTON (Feb. 24, 2010)- As the House votes to pass legislation repealing the limited anti-trust exemption for health insurers, the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) offered a word of caution about the implications of the bill.
“We’re concerned that House members are voting to repeal the exemption when they don’t seem to understand what it does, and how it affects consumers” said Jimi Grande, senior vice president of federal and political affairs for NAMIC. “While this bill addresses only health insurance, it sets a dangerous precedent for the next time a member of Congress decides they want to score points by punishing the insurance industry.”
Introducedn by Reps. Tom Perriello, D-Va., and Betsy Markey, D-Colo., the bill would remove the limited anti-trust exemption for health insurers. As the largest trade association representing property/casualty insurers NAMIC has worked diligently to educate members of what the limited exemption does and does not do to protect against this policy being applied to p/c insurers in the future.
“Any repeal of the limited anti-trust exemption created in the McCarran-Ferguson Act in the name of reform is misguided, and would ultimately harm the consumers that proponents claim to be working for,” Grande said.
The limited anti-trust repeal ensures that insurers of all sizes will have access to loss data, providing them with a clear picture of the risks and exposures for consumers and giving them the statistical basis they need to underwrite their coverage. Without that access, only the largest insurers would be able to properly assess risk and would hold a significant advantage in the market over smaller insurers.
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