- Yesterday, the American Medical Association sent a letter to U.S. antitrust regulators urging them to block the Humana/Aetna and Anthem/Cigna mergers, The Huffington Post reported.
- The mergers will reduce competition and could inadvertently harm patient care, the organization stated.
- “We believe that high insurance market concentration is an important issue of public policy because the anticompetitive effects of insurers’ exercise of market power pose a substantial risk of harm to consumers,” the letter read. “Our analyses of the proposed health insurance mergers reveal significant concerns with respect to the impact on consumers in terms of healthcare access, quality, and affordability.”
In the letter to William Baer, the assistant attorney general for the Department of Justice Antitrust Division, AMA CEO James Madara wrote, "The AMA has concluded that these mergers are likely to impair access, affordability and innovation in the sell-side market for health insurance, and, on the buy side, will deprive physicians of the ability to negotiate competitive health insurer contract terms in markets around the country.”
The mergers have certainly stirred up the health insurance pot. From critics from the American Hospital Association to Hillary Clinton, the proposed mergers have taken some PR hits. However the CEOs continue to defend the mergers.
While UnitedHealth Group will still be expected to see higher revenues, earnings, cash flow and lower debt obligations than its competitors, a recent report found the mergers would actually help UnitedHealth.
The proposed mergers are still subject to review.