Friday, January 21, 2005
BNA reports that Democrats in Congress plan to pursue a very different legislative agenda when it comes to health issues than the President. Recently, Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) indicated that they seek to reform the medical malpractice insurance industry. On January 13th, Leahy and Kennedy circulated a "Dear Colleague" letter soliciting cosponsors for legislation that limits an insurance industry exemption from antitrust laws contained in the McCarran-Ferguson Act. Both senators assert that the exemption enables malpractice carriers to collude to set higher premiums than true competition would achieve. The proposed bill, less than two pages in length, contains the same language as unsuccessful legislation (S. 352) they offered in the previous Congress.