WASHINGTON -- The House Judiciary Committee voted to amend the insurance industry's current exemption from federal antitrust laws. The bill, H.R. 9, called the Insurance Competitive Pricing Act, was sent to the full House for a vote.
nt of H.R. 9, introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jack Brooks, D-Texas, has been a top legislative priority for the National Association of Retail Druggists. "The insurance industry's antitrust exemption has permitted the devaluation of professional pharmacy services through non-negotiable contracts that focus on drugs rather than on cost-effective services," said John Rector, NARD's senior vice president for government affairs and general counsel.
The legislation would prohibit, after three years, the use of industry associations to provide statistical measures used for setting rates. Insurers would be able to continue some practices, such as sharing historical loss data, using common policy forms and pooling existing big risks.
The committee vote on July 22 to approve H.R. 9 was 20 to 15, nearly following party lines; 20 Democrats supporting it, and one Democrat joined 14 Republicans to oppose it.