House passed bill to repeal health insurance industry’s anti-trust exemption by 406 – 19 margin

Reining in the health insurance industry really is bipartisan:

By a vote of 406-19, the House passed the Health Insurance Industry Fair Competition Act (HR 4626), introduced by Reps. Tom Perriello (D-VA) and Betsy Markey (D-CO). This bill is designed to restore competition and transparency to the health insurance market – by repealing the blanket antitrust exemption afforded to health insurance companies by the McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1945. Under this legislation, health insurers will no longer be shielded from legal accountability for price fixing, dividing up territories among themselves, sabotaging their competitors in order to gain monopoly power, and other such anti-competitive practices.

Pretty shocking to see so many Republicans vote against their insurance industry benefactors. They must be hoping that the insurance industry controls enough votes in the Senate to kill this bill. But, it is pretty amazing that so many hard-core GOPers didn’t want to be seen as supporting protecting the insurers.

Here’s the list of the 19 Republican House members who chose to stick with the insurance companies, a cabal that includes some of the worst of the worst in the House GOP caucus. You’ll note the Minority Leader is one of them: Akin (KS), Boehner (OH), Brady (TX), Broun (GA), Buyer (IN), Franks (AZ), Garrett (NJ), Jenkins (KS), Jordan (OH), King (IA), Lamborn (CO), Linder (GA), Moran (KS), Paul (TX) Price (GA), Ryan (WI), Sensenbrenner (WI), Tiahrt (KS) and Westmoreland (GA).

This is the second time this week that the “party of NO” said yes. Five GOP Senators voted to end the Republican filibuster of the jobs bill on Monday night. Then, six of the GOP hypocrites who filibustered (Alexander (TN), Cochran (MS), Inhofe (OK), Lemieux (FL), Murkowski (AK) and Wicker (MS)) ended up voting for final passage today.

On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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