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Insurers are going to have their hands full trying to convince a growing lynch mob in Congress not to strip them of their precious federal antitrust exemption. Sure, I understand that insurance is a game of numbers, with the more, the betternot only for underwriters, but consumers, too. But try selling that to members of Congress on the warpath over disputed Hurricane Katrina claims, with a major hearing scheduled for this Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

For over 60 years, insurers have enjoyed some protection from federal antitrust laws, thanks to the McCarran-Ferguson Act. But that exemption is in jeopardy with the introduction of S. 618–the Insurance Industry Competition Actgranting antitrust enforcement authority to the Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department. (Click here for NU’s news story and industry reaction.)

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