One more time!!
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy introduced a bill on Thursday that would eliminate a half-century-old antitrust exemption for health insurance and medical malpractice insurance companies.
The bill would repeal an exemption granted in 1945 and make health insurance and malpractice insurance companies subject to antitrust laws that forbid price fixing, bid rigging, and dividing markets between them.
Leahy, who has previously introduced the same legislation, said he did so again at least partially because of concern about rising costs.
"In the markets for health insurance and medical malpractice insurance, patients and doctors are paying the price, as costs continue to increase at an alarming rate. Insurers should not object to being subject to the same antitrust laws as everyone else," said Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont.
A report released on Tuesday found that U.S. workers who get health insurance for their families through their employers have seen their premiums more than double in the last decade.
The Kaiser Family Foundation said the average premium for a company-provided family health insurance plan rose from $5,791 in 1999 to $13,375, a 131 percent jump.
Separately, the Business Roundtable, an organization that represents large U.S. corporations, said per-employee health costs will jump to $28,530 in 2019 from $10,743 currently if nothing is done.