National Review has reported that the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act (HR 372) passed the House this afternoon by a vote of 416-7. That means that a lot of Democrats voted in favor of a conservative idea in healthcare. Relevant links are provided at the bottom of this diary.
National Review provides the following summary of the HR 372:
The second bill, H.R. 372, would reform the McCarran-Ferguson Act, which currently exempts insurance companies from some federal anti-trust laws. Repealing these exemptions would restore competition in the health-care industry, lowering costs for hospitals, doctors, and patients. House leadership suggests that this bill would lower premiums by limiting market consolidation and making a variety of low-cost options available for more individuals and families.
Also on the agenda is the Small Business Health Fairness Act (HR 1101). National Review’s summary of HR 1101 is provided below:
The Small Business Health Fairness Act will take the first steps toward allowing the purchase of health insurance across state lines. It will permit small businesses from different states to band together and negotiate with insurance providers, giving them leverage and placing them on more equal footing with large employers and unions.
According to House leadership, 95 percent of small businesses have faced increasing health-insurance costs over the past five years, and 10,000 small businesses have been forced to shut down as a result. The provisions of H.R. 1101 would allow for a greater range of health-care options, which would enable middle- and low-income families to purchase insurance through their employers at a lower cost.
There are reasons to conclude that Republicans can get Democrat votes on legislation that are unrelated to the repeal and replacement of Obamacare.