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Dems To Kill Insure Antitrust Exemption

From The Hill:

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., center, accompanied by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., right, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., speaks during a news conference on health insurance companies, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2009, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Democrats want to revoke insurance’s antitrust exemption in healthcare reform bill

By Mike Soraghan – 10/21/09

Sponsors of an antitrust bill will try to add it to the House healthcare overhaul.

Sponsors of a bill to revoke the antitrust exemption of the health insurance industry will try to add it to the House healthcare overhaul when it comes before the Rules Committee.

Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), a lead co-sponsor of the bill, said Tuesday she would like to see the measure wrapped into the healthcare legislation by the committee, or seek to have Rules allow a floor vote on the amendment. The House Judiciary Committee is to vote on the bill Wednesday.

Supporters of the legislation say that while lawmakers try to instill competition in healthcare markets, they should also make price-fixing illegal.

“Why are our insurance companies exempt from antitrust laws?” DeGette said. “There are only two industries with that exemption: insurance and Major League Baseball. If it ever had a rationale, it’s no longer operative.”

DeGette said she has heard very little opposition to the bill.

In the Senate, Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and other Democrats have introduced a similar bill.

The health insurance industry angered many Democrats earlier this month when its trade group, America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), issued a report saying some provisions of the Senate Finance Committee’s healthcare bill would raise premiums. Critics said the study excluded provisions that would lower premiums.

But supporters say the antitrust push has nothing to do with anger at the report or the industry

No, this isn’t meant to punish the insurance companies by fighting back. (The nerve of them to try to defend their industry and livelihoods.)

Of course this is exactly what Mr. Obama threatened to do during his latest attack on Big Insurance, in his weekly address last Saturday.

And of course it is a highly coordinated assault.

In fact, their lickspittle minions ground troops were called to action by the Huffington Post just one day before the President’s declaration of war:

A Call For a Bipartisan National Campaign to Overturn Insurance Companies’ Exemption From Anti-Trust Laws

October 16, 2009

Whatever their differences on comprehensive health care reform or regulation of Wall Street, here’s something that progressives, liberals, centrists, and even free-market conservatives and some tea-baggers should be able to agree on: The insurance industry should not be virtually the only business in America — other than professional baseball — to be exempt from federal anti-trust laws that prohibit monopolies, price-fixing, market manipulation and other anti-competitive practices which are anathema to a free market.

I’m hereby urging the formation of broadest possible national coalition of people and organizations of all political persuasions to support the following proposition:

WE, THE UNDERSIGNED ORGANIZATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS, urge Congress to enact, and President Obama to sign, legislation to immediately repeal the insurance industry’s exemption from complying with Federal anti-trust laws, while preserving the existing rights of the states to regulate insurance.

We need organizations as diverse as MoveOn, HCAN, Healthcare Now, the AFL-CIO, the National Association of Manufacturers, and even the Club for Growth, and tea bagger organizations to endorse this simple proposition…

We need the widest possible coalition of organizations to use their email lists to generate a million or more signatures in support. We need a national media campaign. We need massive lobbying of Congress…

Note how the HuffPo can’t even refrain from calling conservatives “tea baggers” which is a homosexual pejorative (AKA a ‘hate crime’), even when pretending to call for their support.

Also note the similarity of language used by the HuffPo author and the anti-trust bill’s “lead co-sponsor”:

The insurance industry should not be virtually the only business in America — other than professional baseball — to be exempt from federal anti-trust laws…

“Why are our insurance companies exempt from antitrust laws?” DeGette said. “There are only two industries with that exemption: insurance and Major League Baseball. If it ever had a rationale, it’s no longer operative.”

Of course the National Football League also enjoys an exemption from anti-trust laws. (Sen. Specter has even threatened to take it away.) As does the National Basketball League.

But you can’t expect legislators and our moral superiors at the HuffPo to actually know what they are talking about.


The editorial board of the New York Post weighs in:

Schumer gets vindictive

October 21, 2009

Don’t cross Chuck Schumer — unless you want to swim with cement shoes. Or so New York’s senior senator seemed to be telling health insurers.

After the industry issued a report showing Obama-Care would drive up health-care bills, Schumer moved to ice their longtime anti-trust exemption.

Sen. Shameless said he was reacting to their "stirring the pot," because they’d "blundered so badly" with their report.

Whether the exemption is merited is not at issue; this is policymaking-by-vendetta. And it’s scary, especially when you consider his priors: In 2008, he leaked a confidential letter about IndyMac bank, arguably causing a run on deposits and putting the bank out of business.

Equally terrifying is how eagerly Democrats take their cues from Don Chucky.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid instantly echoed Schumer’s anti-exemption call. President Obama followed suit, calling the industry "deceptive" and for an end to the exemption.

Obama and Reid are key players in shaping the final health-care bill. If they’re this easily cowed by Schumer, and he’s set on score-settling, well . . . it doesn’t bode well for Americans.

But, no, revenge had nothing to do with this.

What a pack of thugs the Democrats are.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, October 21st, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

6 Responses to “Dems To Kill Insure Antitrust Exemption”

  1. BannedbytheTaliban says:

    How absolutely diabolic. The government regulation of insurance companies is what has driven them into operating in a trust like manner, though technically they are not. Now the dems will remove the protection that allows them to operate under the confines of current legislation so they can more effectively destroy the insurance industry, free enterprise, capitalism, consumer choice, freedom, etc…. If there was any doubt as to the motives of “health care reform” this should be an epiphany to all those still thinking the dems really give two craps about you, your life, your health, the working man, etc…. It is all about power and growing government. Can we call them the Democratic Socialist Party yet?

  2. Yarddog1 says:

    It is time for business owners, industry and stockholders to grow a set and tell these Marxists thugs that they will not be intimidated.

    With no resistance, this Congress of Fools will totally destroy what little is left of freedom and free enterprise and realize their goal of destruction.

    The time has passed to play their sick game. Complicity with their tactics with the idea you’ll be safe if you go along will most certainly result in your own demise.

  3. proreason says:

    The insurance companies rightly deserve to be punished, and they are being punished.

    This shouldn’t concern us at all, because it could never happen to a private citizen who disagreed with the Moron’s health care policies. Rush and all that is a totally separate issue.

    There is no chance that a conservative would ever be denied health care. No chance at all.

    Unless he says something that is simply untrue. Thats why we will have Acorn-trained censors to look out for un-american speech.

  4. BillK says:

    Showing once again what will happen to you if you dare oppose them.

    Between what they’re threatening to do to insurance companies, what they did to Sarah Palin and what they did to “Joe the Plumber” who would dare oppose them?

  5. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Whut’s diss I hears abaat dem insurance cumpinnies? WE are da insurance cumpinny. Hey Bawss, ya want I should goes and breaks dare legs? Mebbe give dem sum suggestions on hows to PROPERLY do biznisss? heh heh heh…..

  6. wirenut says:

    The whole thing can be wrapped up with the heading: Dems To Kill. Nuff said. From unborn to grammy, dems to kill.
    From free speech to free enterprise, dems to kill. From property rights to parental rights, dems to kill. I could go on, but you get the idea. Stifle, submit or be knurled under by the power of government. How this story ends, is up to each of us.

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