MAG president says ruling to block Aetna-Humana merger 'great news'

A federal judge has blocked the pending Aetna-Humana merger, a development Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) President Steven M. Walsh, M.D., described as “great news for both patients and physicians.”

According to the American Medical Association (AMA), U.S. District Judge John D. Bates “found that the merger would have substantially lessened competition in Medicare Advantage and commercial health insurance markets….[and he determined that] meaningful action was needed to preserve competition and protect high-quality medical care from unprecedented market power that Aetna would acquire from the merger deal.”

Dr. Walsh emphasized that, “This deal clearly would have exacerbated Georgia’s physician shortage and undermined the economic viability of the state’s health care system, especially in rural areas where hospitals and medical practices are struggling to keep their doors open.”

AMA added that, “The decision is a historic, stunning affirmation of the position urged by [AMA] and the 17-state medical association antitrust coalition members (including MAG). The court’s ruling sets a notable legal precedent by recognizing Medicare Advantage as a separate and distinct market that does not compete with traditional Medicare."

An AP article has reported that Aetna is “giving serious consideration to an appeal after putting forward a compelling case.”

Dr. Walsh promises that, “MAG is going to continue to remain fully engaged and keep its members fully informed.” 

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