As urged by the AHA, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit today affirmed a district court decision blocking Anthem’s proposed acquisition of Cigna. “Having considered the totality of circumstances…, we hold that the district court reasonably determined Anthem failed to show the kind of ‘extraordinary efficiencies’ that would be needed to constrain likely price increases in this highly concentrated market, and to mitigate the threatened loss of innovation,” wrote Judge Judith Rogers in the opinion for the court. “…Finally, the assumption that the prices paid by Anthem’s customers – whatever the quality of the resulting product – are the sole focus of antitrust law sits at the center of Anthem’s and the dissenting opinion’s contentions. But antitrust law is not so monocular. Rather, product variety, quality, innovation, and efficient market allocation – all increased through competition – are equally protected forms of consumer welfare.” The Department of Justice, 11 states and the District of Columbia last year sued to stop the proposed merger, the largest in the history of the health insurance industry, saying it would “substantially lessen competition, harming millions of American consumers, as well as doctors and hospitals.” AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack said, “Today’s ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals confirms that the Department of Justice made the right decision in challenging the Anthem-Cigna merger. The proposed insurance mega-merger could have jeopardized access to health care for millions of consumers, would have raised insurance costs and would have resulted in less innovation in health care delivery.”