In a significant win for organized medicine and the nation's patients, federal judge Amy Berman Jackson blocked the proposed Anthem-Cigna merger. She found that the merger would have substantially lessened competition for the sale of health insurance to national employers, resulting in higher prices and diminished prospects for innovation.
Anthem Inc. planned to take over Cigna for $50 billion. American Medical Association findings show the Anthem-Cigna merger would enhance market power in 85 metropolitan areas within 13 states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, and Virginia.
TMA member physicians voiced strong opposition to the merger, asserting it would expand insurers' waistlines and wallets, while leaving doctors and patients with the heartburn of fewer choices and higher costs. Indeed, Judge Jackson concluded that an enhanced ability to coerce physicians to accept lower payment would not benefit consumers and "would erode the relationship between insurers and providers" and “reduce the collaboration” that is essential to innovation in payment and delivery.
The judge rejected the insurers’ arguments that lowered physician payment would benefit consumers and justify the merger.
Action, Feb. 15, 2017
Last Updated On
February 15, 2017