Double Blow to Consolidation as Judges Halt Insurance Mega-Mergers
On February 9, 2017, federal judge Amy Berman Jackson blocked a proposed $48 billion mega-merger between Cigna and Anthem, which would have created the largest insurer in the country. The decision came two weeks after a federal judge ruled that a proposed $37 billion mega-merger between Aetna and Humana, which would have created the largest Medicare Advantage insurer.
The decisions are significant wins for patients and for organized medicine, which strongly opposed the unprecedented mergers and which demonstrated the case against them. MSDC President Julian Craig, MD, objected to the negative impact the unions would have on patients, pointing out that such “consolidation would allow large insurers to influence the scope, coverage and quality of health care and exercise control over clinical decisions, weakening the patient-physician relationship.”