After eight years of trying, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jack Brooks (D-Tex.) may finally peel back a 50-year-old antitrust exemption for the insurance industry. His committee approved a compromise measure on July 22, after grueling negotiations with two insurance groups--the American Insurance Assn., which represents large companies, and the Independent Insurance Agents of America. Brooks hopes to attach the bill to health-care legislation. In the Senate, a narrower measure covering health insurers was attached to health-care-reform bills approved by two panels.

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