Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate: H.R. 372: Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act of 2017   [open pdf - 21KB]

"Under current law, some activities of companies that provide health insurance are exempt from certain federal antitrust laws if the companies are engaged in the business of insurance and are regulated at the state level. H.R. 372 would remove that exemption and subject such businesses to federal antitrust laws, but would retain the antitrust exemption for certain collaborative activities between health insurance businesses. Based on an analysis of information from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) about the commission's current enforcement capabilities, CBO [Congressional Budget Office] estimates that implementing H.R. 372 would increase costs by less than $500,000 for the FTC and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to enforce the expanded antitrust laws. Such spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds. H.R. 372 could affect the size and costs of premiums charged by private health and dental insurance companies, but those effects would probably be quite small. Changes in health or dental insurance premiums can affect federal revenues because of the favorable tax treatment that is accorded to employment-based coverage under current law. Premiums might be lower to the extent that enacting the bill would prevent insurers from engaging in practices currently exempted from antitrust law. […] CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 372 would not increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028."

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