- Aetna and Anthem's CEOs defended their potential mergers in front of the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust and argued the markets would remain competitive and the mergers would benefit consumers and encourage new forms of payment to healthcare providers, according to the Wall Street Journal.
- American Hosptial Association CEO Richard Pollack said if the mergers went through, they would reduce choices and raise costs for consumers. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said the subcommittee should consider both potential deals together as they could be "powerful barriers to entry" for new companies in the health insurance market.
- However, Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini said only 8% of Medicare beneficiaries would be covered by the new combined company, and Anthem CEO Joseph Swedish said Anthem and Cigna had "very limited and, in most cases, no market overlap."
If Aetna does acquire Humana for $34 billion and Anthem takes over Cigna for $48 billion, it will reduce the top five U.S. health insurers to three, each with an annual revenue of more than $100 billion, says the Wall Street Journal. Leemore Dafny, a professor at Northwestern Univerisity Kellogg School of Management, said consumers are "paying a premium on a premium" due to lack of competition in the insurance marketplace.
Swedish said in a statement back in July, "We believe that this transaction will allow us to enhance our competitive position and be better positioned to apply the insights and access of a broad network and dedicated local presence to the healthcare challenges of the increasingly diverse markets, memberships and communities we serve."