Senate Bill Aims to Increase Transparency and Health Care Options Through Marketplace Competition

Sen. Steve Daines (R-Montana) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), have introduced S. 350, the “Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act.” This bipartisan legislation would help ensure more competition in the health insurance marketplace by reestablishing federal antitrust enforcement over the health insurance industry.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), the bill is drawn to apply only to the business of health insurance, including dental insurance. It outlines how the Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department would help to enforce the federal antitrust laws against health insurance companies engaged in anticompetitive conduct, but they will not interfere with the states’ ability to enforce their own regulations, antitrust statutes and consumer protection laws.

This legislation will amend a section of the McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1945 that exempted the insurance industry from provisions of the Sherman Act and the Clayton Act—acts that are intended to ensure fair competition.

The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to introduce a companion bill.

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