Leahy wants antitrust law to apply to insurers

side note: In the debate over language in the Affordable Care Act, Se. Leahy of Vermont wants to include a repeal of medical malpractice insurance companies’ exemption from anti-trust laws.

(AP) — MONTPELIER, Vt. – Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy wants to amend the Senate’s health care reform bill to make health and medical malpractice insurers subject to federal antitrust laws.

Health insurers have been exempt from antitrust laws designed to protect consumers and encourage competition for more than 60 years, but Leahy has proposed repealing the exemption. His proposal is similar to a provision in the House-passed health care bill that would ban insurers from fixing prices and dividing up the market to avoid competition.

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