AMA: Termination of Anthem/Cigna deal 'clear victory'

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The American Medical Association (AMA) distributed the following statement that is attributable to its president, Andrew W. Gurman, M.D., on May 12…

Today’s action marks the end of a proposed merger that the American Medical Association, courts and regulators widely condemned as a bad deal for patients and harmful to the nation’s health system. The termination of the Anthem-Cigna merger is a clear victory to preserve competition in the health insurance industry. To the detriment of patients, there is already far too little competition among insurers. Networks are already too narrow, and premiums are already too high. Competition, not consolidation, is the right prescription for health insurance markets.

Following 21 months of advocacy before the U.S. Department of Justice, congressional committees, state attorneys general, insurance commissioners, and federal courts, the break-up of the Anthem-Cigna mega merger deal shows again that when doctors join together, the best outcome for patients and doctors can be achieved.

Today’s action concludes a successful campaign by the AMA and 17 state medical societies – on behalf of patients and physicians – to stop the Anthem-Cigna merger. In September 2015, soon after the merger was proposed, the AMA released Competition in Health Insurance, an annual analysis of insurance markets that showed nearly half of all states could see diminished competition in local health insurance markets if the Anthem-Cigna and Aetna-Humana mega-mergers were allowed to proceed. That same month, AMA leaders testified before Congress regarding the mergers. They argued for more choices for patients for health care services and coverage, and for close scrutiny of the proposed mergers, respectively. Two months later, the AMA outlined detailed concerns with further market consolidation and urged the DOJ to block the proposed mergers.