Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) seems to think that removing this protection constitutes vindictiveness on the part of the WH and is an unfair treatment of the industry. It very well may be; but the insurance industry has made several threats of its own; and why should they receive this special treatment in the first place?
This all stems from the 1945 McCarran-Ferguson Act which "provides that federal anti-trust laws will not apply to the "business of insurance" as long as the state regulates in that area, but federal anti-trust laws will apply in cases of boycott, coercion, and intimidation". One of the things that the "right" has called for is interstate portability of insurance. Wouldn't this invalidate McCarran-Ferguson and put the insurance industries under interstate commerce oversight? Haven't these industries already abused this exemption?
While we're at it, why not review all the malfeasances of the insurance industry?
If we were able to clean up the bad behavior of the insurance industry, maybe people would not feel the need to do a massive overhaul of the health care industry, and a public option would be less appealing an option.
If I feel any oppression on this issue it is clearly from the direction of the convoluted and deceitful practices of the several health insurance and billing offices I have dealt with. Any other business in the US would never be allowed to operate in the manner that many of these do. Other industries with similar problems have been regulated as a result. Maybe it is time the insurance companies got a turn to stand and deliver on their poor behavior.