Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has introduced an amendment to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that will repeal the antitrust exemption some insurers enjoy under the McCarran-Ferguson Act.

“The lack of affordable health insurance plagues families throughout our country, and this amendment is a first step toward ensuring that health insurers and medical malpractice insurers are subject to fair competition,” Leahy said in a statement. “Subjecting health and medical malpractice insurance providers to the antitrust laws will enable customers to feel confident that the price they are being quoted is the product of a fair marketplace.”

In September, Leahy introduced the Health Insurance Industry Antitrust Enforcement Act, which would strip antitrust protections from health insurance and medical malpractice insurers. The bill is cosponsored by 18 senators, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who testified on its behalf before the Judiciary Committee.

In October, The House Judiciary Committee passed companion legislation, H.R. 3596, The Health Insurance Industry Antitrust Enforcement Act.

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