I’ve just received this from Joe Lieberman’s press office:
Senator Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) joined Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) today in introducing an amendment that would revoke health insurers’ and medical malpractice insurers’ existing exemption from federal antitrust laws that prohibit anti-competitive conduct such as price fixing, bid rigging, and market allocations.
“There is no reason that health insurers should be exempt from our federal antitrust laws,” said Lieberman. “Anti-competitive conduct that reduces consumer choice and drives up prices is harmful to consumers and should be subject to the full range of federal remedies to end such practices. I am pleased to cosponsor this amendment that will promote competition, increase consumer choice, and lead to more affordable health insurance for those in Connecticut and throughout the country.”
This is a good idea and an important amendment, and I’m glad that Lieberman and Leahy had the courage not to let their colleague Ben Nelson’s opposition prevent them from attempting to insert it. Now, I hope Lieberman will reconsider his pledge to filibuster any bill that contains the public option. This bill is simply too important–it will provide relief, in a variety of ways, to millions of people–to have an up or down vote blocked by a Senator’s opposition to this one, relatively peripheral provision.