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House Votes to Repeal Insurers' Longstanding Antitrust Law Exemption

Source: Associated Press

Posted on 25 Feb 2010

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In the 24 hours preceding President Obama's health summit, the House of Representatives has voted to repeal the health insurance industry's decades-long exemption from federal antitrust laws.

The 406-19 vote gave Democrats an easy win and saw most Republicans siding with majority Democrats against the industry, which has been under increasing attack by Democrats and consumer advocates in the wake of recent premium increases.

Republican lawmakers complained, though, that the legislation passed yesterday was largely symbolic and would have little real impact since states already regulate health insurers.

While independent experts largely share that view, Democrats argue that the bill would help consumers by increasing competition.

Analysts say prospects for the bill are dim in the Senate.