Insurance Antitrust Legal News - May 2012 • Volume 1, Number 1

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In this issue:

- McCarran Repeal Legislation Passes in the House

In late March, legislation that would repeal the health insurance industry’s antitrust exemption, contained in the McCarran Ferguson Act (15 USC §§1011 et seq.), was passed by the House of Representatives as an amendment to H.R. 5, the “Protecting Access to Health Care Act.” The text of the McCarran repeal provisions (Title IV of H.R. 5) mirror those introduced last year by Representative Paul Gosar of Arizona as a stand-alone bill McCarran repeal bill (H.R. 1150). That legislation, however, had made little progress since its introduction. Accordingly, Representative Gosar, recognizing that HR 5, a Republican sponsored bill that would abolish the Independent Payment Advisory Board (an entity created by the Affordable Care Act to advise on Medicare rates) and cap punitive damages in medical malpractice cases,was moving swiftly towards a vote in the House, introduced his bill as an amendment to H.R. 5. His strategy proved successful when the House subsequently passed H.R. 5 – with Representative Gosar’s amendment included in the bill...

- Blue Cross Win in “Most Favored Nation” Clause Antitrust Case

On March 30, United States District Court Judge Denise Page Hood (E.D. Mich.) handed Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan a victory, dismissing an antitrust action filed against it by the City of Pontiac in which the City alleged that Blue Cross’s use of “most favored nation” clauses in its provider contracts violated the antitrust laws. (City of Pontiac v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Case No. 11-10276, Eastern District of Michigan)...

- New York Court of Appeals Holds that the New York Antitrust Law Does Not Have Extraterritorial Reach, Requiring the Dismissal of Reinsurer Antitrust Action

On March 27, the New York Court of Appeals (New York’s highest state court), held that the state’s antitrust law does not have extraterritorial reach in Global Reinsurance Corp. v. Equitas Ltd. Accordingly, the court held that the plaintiff, the United States subsidiary of Global Reinsurance Corporation, could not assert claims under New York’s Donnelly Act against a U.K corporation (Equitas) for alleged anticompetitive conduct that had occurred in the London reinsurance market...

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