Week in Health Insurance Reform

By a vote of 406 to 19, the House last week approved H.R. 4626, the “Health Insurance Industry Fair Competition Act.” introduced by Reps. Tom Perriello (D-VA) and Betsy Markey (D-CO) with 65 original cosponsors.

The House did not consider any amendments to the bill, although Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) offered a motion to recommit the bill to the House Judiciary Committee with instructions to amend the bill to require a Government Accountability Office report on unfair competition and provide an exclusion for the following activities:  (1) collecting, compiling, or disseminating historical loss data; (2) determining a loss development factor applicable to historical loss data; (3) performing actuarial services provided that there is no restraint of trade involved; and (4) information gathering and rate setting activities of state regulators.  This motion was defeated by a vote of 249 to 170.

The Obama Administration issued a “Statement of Administration Policy” expressing support for the Perriello-Markey bill, stating that it “would give American families and businesses, big and small, more control over their own health care choices by promoting greater insurance competition.”  America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) also issued a statement reinforcing its concerns.

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