Traditional Medicare Not Enough To Combat Monopoly From Aetna-Humana, Feds Argue
The trial over the companies' merger kicked off on Monday, with both sides presenting their arguments on how the deal would affect the Medicare Advantage marketplace.
The Wall Street Journal:
Aetna And Humana Defend Merger, As Antitrust Trial Begins
The Justice Department and proposed merger partners Aetna Inc. and Humana Inc. presented a judge Monday with starkly different visions of how the transaction would affect the marketplace, kicking off a second antitrust trial with major implications for the health insurance landscape. Opening statements launched the government’s second current court battle against consolidation among health insurers. (Kendall, 12/5)
U.S. Attorneys Argue Aetna-Humana Deal Violates Antitrust Law
A U.S. Justice Department attorney told a federal judge on Monday that health insurer Aetna Inc's planned acquisition of Humana Inc would break antitrust law by reducing competition in Medicare Advantage and Obamacare exchange businesses, kicking off a trial expected to last weeks. The Justice Department filed a lawsuit in July asking the court to stop Aetna's $34 billion deal for Humana, arguing it would lead to higher prices for seniors and the disabled on Medicare and for people who use the individual insurance program created under the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare. (Bartz and Humer, 12/5)
Aetna’s Remedy To Salvage Humana Deal Draws Fire From U.S.
Aetna Inc.’s proposal to salvage its $37 billion takeover of Humana Inc. by selling assets to a smaller company isn’t convincing the Justice Department, which told a federal judge that the remedy poses risks for seniors who depend on Medicare. The insurer that Aetna wants to sell assets to, Molina Healthcare Inc., is unlikely to replace the competition that would be lost from the merger, Justice Department lawyer Craig Conrath said Monday as a U.S. antitrust trial seeking to block Aetna’s acquisition of Humana kicked off in Washington. (Harris and McLaughlin, 12/5)
The CT Mirror:
Aetna, Humana Defend Merger Plans In Court
Opening salvos were fired Monday in the antitrust case against the proposed merger of Aetna and Humana, with Justice Department attorneys arguing the tie-up would mean sharp price hikes for Medicare Advantage plans and a disintegration of choice for people purchasing insurance on Affordable Care Act exchanges. Attorneys for the insurers vigorously disputed that their $37 billion marriage would reduce competition in a growing Medicare Advantage market or on the ACA exchanges and promised their witnesses, including Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini, Humana CEO Bruce Broussard and a slew of antitrust economists, would prove it. (Radelat, 12/5)