House aims to repeal health insurance industry's antitrust exemption 

With major health care reform on hold, House Democrats are aiming for an easier target. On Friday they are introducing a bill that would strip the health care industry of its special anti-trust exemption.

Freshmen Reps. Tom Perriello, D-Va., and Betsy Markey, D-Colo., are sponsoring the bill, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has said is needed to allow the federal government to stop collusion and price-fixing by the insurance companies.

The House plans to take up the bill next week, and while it may pass easily, the Senate is no sure thing.

Republicans and at least a few Democrats, including Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., who is a former insurance commissioner, are wary of repealing the 65-year-old exemption and could stand in the way of the 60 votes needed for passage.

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Susan Ferrechio

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