Court proceedings got underway today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in Aetna’s bid to acquire Humana. The Department of Justice filed suit July 21 to block the acquisition, along with Anthem’s proposed acquisition of Cigna, saying it would be harmful for consumers. If allowed to proceed, the combined Aetna-Humana would be the largest Medicare Advantage plan issuer in the country. A ruling is expected by mid-January. The Anthem-Cigna trial began Nov. 21 and is expected to be completed by January. That trial is on hiatus until Dec. 12. The deals, if allowed to proceed, would create three major national insurers where there are now five. AHA has vigorously urged DOJ to challenge both deals on the grounds that they would reduce competition and harm consumers and hospitals.