The McCarran-Ferguson Act is a 1948 law that exempts insurance companies, including health insurance companies, from some of the antitrust laws. The ADA believes these exemptions have resulted in a general absence of scrutiny of insurance companies by the federal government.
Insurance companies can take advantage of this lack of oversight in their dealings with medical providers, including dentists. By not being subject to a number of the antitrust laws that apply to all other businesses insurance companies are freer to discuss with each other setting rates and designing coverage. This serves to undermine more robust competition, to the significant disadvantage of both dentists and patients.
The ADA worked closely to support H.R. 372, the “Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act” which would authorize the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department to enforce all of the federal antitrust laws against health insurance companies engaged in anticompetitive conduct. Through direct lobbying efforts, communications with Members of the House of Representatives, and with the advocacy activities of our ADA member dentists, H.R. 372 passed the House by an overwhelmingly majority vote of 416-7.
The ADA is now focused on a legislative campaign in the Senate and expects to have an identical Senate bill dropped soon.
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