LETTERS MCCARRAN-FERGUSON DEFENDED

Your editorial, "Repeal Antitrust Immunity" (JofC, Feb. 27), shows how well the proponents of bigger government have confused the media and the issue.

The debate over the McCarran-Ferguson Act, enacted 42 years ago, has nothing to do, at bottom, with antitrust immunity. The insurance industry's exemption from antitrust laws is narrow and limited. Nothing inhibits the government or any individual from proceeding against insurers if boycott, coercion, intimidation, conspiracy, or other anti-competitive abuses are reasonably alleged.But of course, the evidence points in the opposite direction. Competition is alive and well, an embarrassing fact for those who attack McCarran, so they spread the fiction that insurers are unregulated by antitrust laws.

The truth is, antitrust and anti-competitiveness are mere fronts for the hidden agenda item - federal takeover.

But it won't work. Eventually, the federal-state question will reach the public. The people know which is the better regulator.

John B. Crosby Senior Vice President, General Counsel National Association of Independent Insurers Des Plaines, Ill.

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