Aetna, CVS Defend Merger In Front Of Calif. Insurance Commissioner, But Antitrust Experts Aren’t Buying It
Executives from the companies said the deal won't negatively affect the marketplace, but outside experts predict that it will chip away at competition to the detriment of patients. California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones can't block the merger himself, but his suggestion could have an impact on regulators' final decision.
Antitrust Experts, Providers Warn Against CVS-Aetna Merger At Calif. Hearing
CVS Health and Aetna executives defended their $69 billion proposed merger before the California insurance commissioner on Tuesday, as a panel of antitrust experts and healthcare providers chipped away at the companies' promise to lower U.S. healthcare costs and improve the quality of care without harming competition. Although California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones doesn't have direct approval authority over the merger because Aetna isn't based in California, his opinion could influence how other state regulators view the deal. (Livingston, 6/20)
In other health industry news —
Health Care Is Eating The Economy. Will Walgreens Sate The Dow?
With the addition of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. to the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the storied stock-market gauge now looks a lot more like the health-care heavy U.S. economy. The giant drugstore chain joins UnitedHealth Group Inc., the largest U.S. health insurer by number of members, and drugmakers Pfizer Inc., Merck & Co. and Johnson & Johnson in the 30-company Dow average. Health care accounts for almost a fifth of U.S. economic output. (Annett, 6/20)