Antitrust Reform?

October 16th, 2009 | Healthcare Reform

Having been onto this since I wrote my first book back in 1997-98, I am more than a little surprised that nearly 65 years after the McCarran-Ferguson Act established a federal antitrust exemption for health insurers (and medical malpractice insurers) and the DOJ/FTC wrote position paper after position paper extolling the benefits (e.g., http://www.ftc.gov/reports/healthcare/040723healthcarerpt.pdf), the DOJ has suddenly decided that they do not like it.

Christine A. Varney, Assistant Attorney General, Antitrust Division, told the Senate Judiciary Committee on October 14 that DOJ “is generally opposed to exemptions from the antitrust laws, whether they be industry-specific or general, in the absence of a strong showing of a compelling need.”

Hmmmmm…

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