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Thursday, November 05, 2009

Democrats want to repeal the federal antitrust exemption for insurers: this is not baseball this (world) serious.

As the battle over health-insurance reform heats up, a 64-year-old decision to shield insurers from federal regulation is being reconsidered.

Last week, the insurance industry finally broke with its tentative support for President Barack Obama's health-care reform efforts. The industry's trade group issued a report claiming a bill just passed by the Senate Finance Committee would hike insurance premiums faster than if no bill were passed. The President fired back in his weekly radio and Internet address on Oct. 17, blasting insurers for "making this last-ditch effort to stop reform even as costs continue to rise and our health-care dollars continue to be poured into their profits, bonuses, and administrative costs that do nothing to make us healthy." The industry is "earning these profits and bonuses while enjoying a privileged exception from our antitrust laws," he said, adding that this is "a matter that Congress is rightfully reviewing."

Why are these paragons of capitalism afraid of competition particularly in many areas of the country where there are only one or two dominant insurers?

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