All-out war broke out between the Democrats and the insurers today, with Chuck Schumer calling for an amendment to the health care bill that would remove the industry’s long-standing anti-trust immunity. Schumer called the exemption “one of the worst accidents of American history,” blaming it in part for the precipitous rise in health care premiums. The attack follows a surprise industry report concluding that premiums would rise under the Baucus bill.
Harry Reid said the exemption should have been cut long ago. “There isn’t anything we could do to satisfy them in this health care bill. Nothing,” he fumed. “They are so anti-competitive. Why? Because they make more money than any other business in America. What a sweet deal they have.” Insurance officials dismissed the amendment as a “political ploy,” since insurers are already regulated by the states.