The September 24th article from Healthcare Finance titled “Aetna, Anthem CEOs defend mergers in Congress, say Humana, Cigna takeovers won’t stifle competition” by Susan Morse covers more recent news surrounding Anthem’s purchase of rival health insurer Cigna.
The chief executives of Aetna Inc. and Anthem Inc. recently defended their merger deals before a Senate subcommittee, facing sharply critical testimony that raised questions about the impact of health-insurance consolidation. Aetna is seeking to acquire Humana Inc., in a $34 billion transaction focused largely on the private Medicare plans known as Medicare Advantage. Anthem health insurance aims to take over Cigna Corp. in a $48 billion deal.
Nelson Hardiman attorney, Rob Fuller, was asked to provide insight for this article:
“Attorney Rob Fuller of Nelson Hardiman in Los Angeles said he does not believe the mergers will rise to the level of antitrust violations and agreed local insurance plans will allow competition, much as strong regional airlines such as Southwest and JetBlue provided competition to the big three carriers during airline consolidation.
“I do anticipate the mergers will be approved, with conditions,” Fuller said. “Right now, antitrust laws are not set up to deal with health plans. I do think there will be a regulatory response.” Fuller works with merger and acquisition cases and is a former chief operating officer for Downey Regional Medical Center in Los Angeles.
Anthem and Cigna completely overlap, he said, while Aetna and Humana have separate markets as the latter deals with Medicare Advantage plans.
He believes the mergers would have a negative effect on hospitals which would be left with less negotiating power.”
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