A House committee has voted to strip the health insurance industry of its exemption from federal antitrust laws as senators announced plans to take the same step.
The moves Wednesday signaled a growing determination by Democrats to punish the insurance industry for its criticism of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul agenda. The House Judiciary Committee voted 20 to 9 to repeal a 1940s law that exempted the health insurance industry from federal controls over certain antitrust violations including price-fixing.
Lawmakers said they wanted to include the legislation in a larger health care overhaul bill taking shape in the House. In the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid announced plans to repeal the antitrust exemption as part of its health care legislation.