On Sept 21, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1418, the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act of 2020. The bill repeals specific parts of the McCarran-Ferguson Act that exempt insurance businesses from most federal regulation.
The McCarran-Ferguson Act delegates authority from Congress to the states with respect to the regulation and taxation of the business of insurance and allows states to maintain jurisdiction over health insurance. Attempts at repealing antitrust-related portions of the McCarran-Ferguson Act would weaken states’ authority and harm American consumers, while in no way working to increase competition in health insurance markets. Elimination of McCarran-Ferguson would only serve to reduce competition, choice, and innovation in the health care arena.
Before arriving on the President’s desk, H.R. 1418 would need to find a way through the Senate, which at this time would seem highly unlikely. Similar bills to overturn the anti-trust provision provided by McCarran-Ferguson have failed there in the past.
NAIFA is actively monitoring the situation and continues to engage with lawmakers on ways to improve health care in a fashion that is beneficial to both consumers and health care providers while preserving the integrity of health care regulation as a function at the state level. NAIFA supports proactive ways to improve access to affordable healthcare without disabling health insurers abilities to provide the best possible coverage to consumers. By allowing states to regulate health care for their specific constituencies, consumers can get the best health coverage to serve their specific needs.