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circle of pawns whose shadow makes one kingInsurance industry leaders say the repeal will add administrative red tape, reduce market competition and make health coverage less affordable. (Image: Shutterstock)

Flying under the radar of last week’s major spending deal passed and signed by President Trump was a separate bill approved by the Senate that would repeal insurers’ federal antitrust enforcement immunity.

The bipartisan bill amends the McCarran-Ferguson Act to restore the application of federal antitrust laws to the health insurance industry but does not otherwise affect the authority of state authorities to regulate health insurance provided under the act. This bill will help address instances of artificially higher premiums, unfair insurance restrictions and harmful policy exclusions, supporters said. It allows the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission to regulate health insurance markets.

Related: Does the health care system need its own SEC?

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