White House Supports Repeal of Anti-Trust Law for Health Care Providers

The White House says it will support the House backed legislation that strips the health insurance industry of its federal antitrust exemptions and that removing the exemption will allow the “appropriate enforcement and examination of potential policies that might prove uncompetitive, or might stifle competition” within the industry.

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters at the daily White House briefing the administration supports the legislation that will allow American families and businesses to have more control over health care. He also said this will allow the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to ensure competitiveness in the market.

The legislation on repealing the health care company exemption will originate in the House and has to be reconciled with the Senate version of the bill. The Senate version of the health care bill is what the White House has used to create their own proposal on how to move forward on health care and will be the starting point for discussions on Thursday between Republicans and Democrats at a day-long meeting with the President in an attempt by the White House to get health care legislation passed.

Health Care companies have been exempt from the antitrust acts for about 65 years. U.S. Antitrust laws prohibit anti-competitive behavior and unfair practices, and are designed to encourage competition in the marketplace.