The Physicians Advocacy Institute (PAI) continues to press the US Department of Justice (DOJ) to reject the proposed mergers of insurance giants Cigna with Anthem and Humana with Aetna. In his role as President of PAI, Robert Seligson, CEO of the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) recently sent a letter to William Baer, the Assistant Attorney General for the DOJ, Antitrust Division, detailing why these proposed mergers would be harmful to the health care system. Read the letter.
“The gravity of the decision before the DOJ and its lasting impact on the nation’s health care system cannot be overstated,” Seligson wrote. “For all of the reasons set forth in this letter, PAI opposes the proposed acquisition of Cigna by Anthem and the proposed acquisition of Humana by Aetna and would urge the Antitrust Division to use its authority to block the mergers. It should be abundantly clear from our comments that ‘big is not better,’ and drastically reducing the number of competitive health insurers will create a ‘too big to fail’ scenario in the health insurance industry.”
Other organizations like the AMA and The Physicians Foundation also have been pressing the DOJ to reject the merger proposal due to the detrimental effects this type of consolidation would have on patients and their doctors. The NCMS also has encouraged North Carolina’s Commissioner of Insurance, Wayne Goodwin, to use his platform with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners to voice opposition to the mergers.
Likely, no decision on the mergers will be made until late 2016.