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Oregon bill would make it easier to sue insurers

SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- The Oregon House has narrowly voted to make it easier for consumers to sue insurance companies.

Insurance companies have long been exempt from the Uniform Trade Practices Act, which allows the attorney general, district attorneys or private parties to sue businesses for unlawful business practices. The bill approved Tuesday would end that exemption for insurance companies.

Supporters say the measure would protect consumers from bad-acting insurance companies. Critics say insurance companies are already heavily regulated and the measure could raise premiums.

The House also approved a separate bill requiring health insurance companies to pay for court-ordered addiction and mental-health treatment for people convicted of drunken driving.

Both measures now go to the Senate.