AMA asks DOJ to block health insurer mega-mergers

The American Medical Association has asked the Department of Justice to block Aetna's proposed acquisition of Humana and Anthem's proposed acquisition of Cigna.

The AMA sent a letter to the head of the DOJ's antitrust division on Wednesday, saying the two proposed mega-mergers will reduce competition and could harm patient care.

"Fostering competition, not consolidation, benefits American consumers through lower prices, better quality, and greater choice," James Madara, MD, the AMA's CEO, said in the letter. "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."

The AMA also disputed the insurers' claims that the proposed deals would lead to greater efficiencies and innovative payment and care management programs.

The DOJ has yet to sign off on either deal, which were both announced in July. Indianapolis-based Anthem agreed to acquire Bloomfield, Conn.-based Cigna in a cash and stock transaction valued at $54.2 billion. Hartford, Conn.-based Aetna agreed to acquire Louisville, Ky.-based Humana in a deal valued at $37 billion.

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