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CONSUMER ORGANIZATIONS HAIL INTRODUCTION OF BILL TO REPEAL SPECIAL PROTECTION FOR INSURANCE INDUSTRY

 WASHINGTON, Jan. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers scored a victory on the opening day of the new Congress with the introduction by House Judiciary Chairman Jack Brooks (D-Texas) of H.R. 9, the Insurance Competitive Pricing Act of 1993. The bill would prevent the insurance industry from engaging in anti-competitive conduct protected by current law. Price-fixing, monopolization, market division among competitors, tying the sale of one product to another, and other anticompetitive practices would be prohibited by the proposed legislation.
 "The 103rd Congress got off to a good start with introduction of H.R. 9," said Kristen Rand, counsel to Consumers Union. "Since 1945 the insurance industry has enjoyed protection from the antitrust laws that virtually every other American business must operate under. It's time to make the insurance industry competitive," continued Rand.
 H.R. 9 would substantially modify the McCarran-Ferguson Act, which specifically exempts the $500 billion insurance industry from federal antitrust laws. Repeal of McCarran-Ferguson would inject competition into the insurance marketplace and weed out inefficient companies.
 "H.R. 9 addresses an issue of crucial importance to consumers," said Sara Nichols, staff attorney with Public Citizen. "Expenditures for insurance rank third behind housing and food. With premiums soaring out of control and some types of coverage impossible to obtain, H.R. 9 would provide much needed relief to millions of American consumers struggling to make ends meet," stated Nichols.
 -0- 1/6/92
 /CONTACT: Kristen Rand of Consumers Union, 202-462-6262, or Sara Nichols of Public Citizen, 202-546-4996/


CO: Consumers Union; Public Citizen ST: District of Columbia IN: INS SU: LEG

TW -- DC009 -- 2112 01/06/93 10:06 EST
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Date:Jan 6, 1993
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