In a letter yesterday to the Department of Justice, the AHA further elaborated on why Anthem’s proposed acquisition of Cigna “would irreparably harm competition and consumers” by reducing the ability of other health insurers to compete with Blues plans. “The acquisition threatens to both reinforce existing barriers to entry and raise new ones, further entrench dominant Blue plans, and exacerbate conditions conducive to abuse of market or monopoly power,” wrote Melinda Reid Hatton, AHA senior vice president and general counsel. “The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association rules reinforce and compound these competitive concerns…. Because the likely resulting harm cannot reliably be remedied by structural means, such as divestitures, or by conduct agreements, such as limits on price hikes or network adequacy promises, we urge that the Department challenge the deal.” For more, see today’s AHASTAT blog post and the association’s initial comments to DOJ.