On April 28, a federal appeals court upheld the lower court’s ruling to block industry giant Anthem’s proposed acquisition of Cigna. The North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) along with other medical societies and the AMA helped achieve this outcome.
“These insurance companies were trying to stack the deck,” said AMA President Andrew W. Gurman, MD. “They sought even more negotiating power over you. But, using hard data in conjunction with partners, we were able to convince the courts not to allow this to occur.”
Barring an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, this decision concludes a successful campaign led by the AMA and 17 state medical societies, including key work from the NCMS.
For 21 months, AMA, state medical societies and other partners examined the current landscape in each state, as well as the future implications of these proposed mega-mergers. The AMA’s annual Competition in Health Insurance, an analysis of insurance markets, 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.
The coalition advocated before the U.S. Department of Justice, congressional committees, state attorneys general, insurance commissioners, and federal courts, and this outcome illustrates that when the House of Medicine joins together, the best outcome for patients and doctors can be achieved.
At a time when there are too many divisions, this outcome serves as a reminder of what can be achieved when we join together. As NCMS President Paul R.G. Cunningham urged in his inauguration speech, medicine benefits when physicians and PAs speak with one voice.