Feinstein to introduce new insurance legislation

February 19, 2010 5:06:54 PM PST
Senator Dianne Feinstein plans to introduce legislation that would prevent insurance companies from enacting what she calls unfair premium increases.

Feinstein's bill would create a national medical insurance rate authority that would regulate premium prices the same way the government regulates utility companies.

The senator says her legislation would prevent rate hikes like the one recently announced by anthem blue cross, which increased premiums up to 39 percent.

"To say to a family, whose policy may be $20,000, your policy is going up 39 percent this year and we reserve the right to raise it middle of the year, is just terrible," she said.

Senator Feinstein also supports legislation that would strip insurance companies from anti-trust exemptions. She says the current rules allow companies to monopolize a market, stifling competition.