Matheson Supports Repeal Of Health Insurers' Antitrust Exemption
Congressman Jim Matheson today joined the bipartisan support of a bill designed to provide more fairness and choice to customers buying health insurance. Matheson voted for HR 4626 -- the Health Insurance Industry Fair Competition Act-- which repeals the current anti-trust exemption for the industry.
"This is a step towards offering consumers more choice for buying health insurance," said Matheson. "In some markets, a single insurance company is the only option. Fostering greater competition is the right thing to do, as we seek to lower costs."
Matheson said a 2008 survey by the Government Accountability Office found the five largest providers of small group insurance controlled 75 percent or more of the market in 34 states, and 90 percent or more in 23 of those states. Matheson said antitrust laws are designed to prevent this kind of market domination.
Matheson said the legislation requires health insurance companies to be legally responsible for price fixing, dividing up territories among themselves or sabotaging their competitors in order to gain a monopoly in the marketplace. It is supported by the American Hospital Association, the American Nurses Association, the Consumer Federation of America and other organizations.