House To Move Forward To End Antitrust Exemption For Health Insurers
"House Democratic leaders are moving forward with Plan B for passing health care reform by introducing a stand-alone measure to strip the antitrust exemption for health insurance companies - a popular piece of their stalled health care reform package," Roll Call reports. "Freshmen Reps. Tom Perriello (D-Va.) and Betsy Markey (D-Colo.) will file legislation on Friday aimed at barring the insurance industry from fixing prices and setting their own markets without being investigated. The bill ... is the first in what is expected to be a series of health-care-related measures that reflect the piecemeal approach House Democratic leaders are now taking to moving the overhaul" (Bendery, 2/3).
USA Today: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi "alerted reporters that a bill to strip the health insurance industry of its anti-trust exemption will be on the floor next week. ... In their joint press release, [Perriello and Markey] noted that they voted differently last November on House passage of the health care bill (Perriello was for; Markey against). But the two have something in common. Both are first-term lawmakers facing difficult re-election prospects this year" (Kiely, 2/3).