The Department of Justice (DOJ) today filed lawsuits in District of Columbia federal court to block Anthem’s acquisition of Cigna and Aetna’s acquisition of Humana.
The DOJ’s complaints said the deals would harm innovation and quality in health care, arguments the AHA made repeatedly in its analyses and meetings with antitrust regulators. “The mergers put at risk the system that Americans across the country rely on to pay for health care,” DOJ Deputy Associate Attorney General Donald Baer said at a press conference. “They threaten to increase insurance premiums, reduce benefit, lower the quality of care and slow innovation.”
The proposed mergers would bring the number of publicly-traded health insurance giants from five to three. They would result in three companies covering nearly 44% of insured Americans, with nearly $345 billion in revenue. The AHA vigorously opposed the mergers in letters to DOJ and in congressional testimony, citing the potential harm for consumers and hospitals.
AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack called DOJ’s lawsuits “good news for consumers, who would have faced increased costs and fewer choices for coverage.”