Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Legislative efforts to repeal McCarran-Ferguson as to health insurance
There are three bills currently before the 112th Congress to repeal McCarran-Ferguson's insurance antitrust exemption as to the business of health insurance. The bills are Protecting Access to Healthcare Act, H.R. 5, Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act, H.R. 1150, and Health Insurance Industry Fair Competition Act, H.R. 1943. The Protecting Access to Healthcare Act, H.R. 5, is particularly interesting since it has gone through extensive committee reporting, has passed the House and is currently before the Senate. If enacted, the bill would establish procedural reforms for healthcare liability lawsuits, including restriction of non-economic and punitive damages for medical malpractice and medical product liability, and would establish a federal good samaritan law for medical volunteers who render services during disaster, in addition to restoring the applicability of federal antitrust laws to the business of health insurance.