Last updated on: 10/24/2012 | Author:

Under Obamacare, Are Insurance Companies Still Exempt From Federal Antitrust Laws? – YES

General Reference (not clearly pro or con)

[Editor’s Note: The antitrust exemption for insurance companies existed prior to the passage of Obamacare. On June 5, 1944, the US Supreme Court, in US v. South-Eastern Underwriters, ruled that insurance companies were engaging in interstate commerce and that insurance companies could be subject to federal antitrust laws and prosecution for sharing information with each other, a practice they had regularly engaged in to help determine risk levels and premium prices on insurance policies.

On Mar. 9, 1945, in response to the Court’s decision, Congress passed the McCarran-Ferguson Act to create a limited exemption from federal antitrust laws for insurance companies to allow them to share information with each other without worry of being charged under federal antitrust laws. Under the new law, regulating insurance company practices was left to the individual states.]

PRO (yes)


Michelle Andrews, New York Times freelance writer, stated in her Apr. 23, 2010 article “Are Insurance Companies Still Exempt From Antitrust Laws?,” available at the New York Times Prescriptions Blog:

“The new health reform law did not include language that ended the insurance industry’s exemption from antitrust law. It was included in the House health bill but did not appear in the final Senate bill that became law.”


Robert Reich, JD, Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and former Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton, wrote in his May 24, 2010 blog “Obama’s Regulatory Brain,” available at his website:

“The final health care act doesn’t even remove the exemption of private insurers from the nation’s antitrust laws.”

CON (no)


[Editor’s Note: Based upon a neutral reading of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and bi-partisan third party analysis, this question seems to have a clear and obvious Pro (yes) answer, and has therefore presented the responses in a single column with no opposing perspective.]