The U.S. House has approved the Health Insurance Industry Fair Competition Act, a bill that would repeal the antitrust exemption for health insurance companies. The measure was approved with a 406 to 19 vote. National Farmers Union says the measure would level the playing field for small insurers, encourage market competition and ultimately lower costs for consumers.
NFU President Roger Johnson says that rural areas on average feel the impacts of concentrated insurance markets more acutely than their urban counterparts. According to the American Medical Association one company dominates over 80% of the market in many rural states. Johnson says ending the antitrust exemption is a common sense way to introduce choice and competition into the marketplace.
"Repealing the antitrust exemption for health insurance companies is a long-overdue measure," Johnson said. "Rural consumers deserve the choices provided by a robust, competitive marketplace. I applaud the efforts to eliminate antitrust exemptions that protect health insurers from competition and look forward to working with congress to ensure this Act's passage."