July 21, 2016
Area(s) of Interest: Access to Care Advocacy
The California Medical Association (CMA) today applauded the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for filing two lawsuits challenging the proposed merger of Anthem and Cigna and of Aetna and Humana — all of which are among the largest health insurance companies in the country.
“We applaud the DOJ for protecting patients against mega-mergers that would drastically reduce competition in the health insurance market, leaving patients at a huge disadvantage in the pursuit of timely and affordable health care,” said CMA President Steven Larson, M.D., MPH. “We also commend California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones for his leadership in scrutinizing these proposed mergers and for protecting California patients, physicians and our health care system.”
An overwhelming 85 percent of California physicians opposed the Anthem-Cigna merger, while 83 percent opposed the Aetna-Humana merger, according to a recent CMA survey. Physicians had concerns that the health insurer unions could lead to narrower physician networks, forcing physicians to provide fewer services.
“California physicians understand that giving complete market power to just a few for-profit insurers is not in the best interest of patients,” said CMA General Counsel Francisco J. Silva. “CMA’s opposition to the Anthem-Cigna merger confirmed the obvious: if approved, the merger would further empower Anthem to contract with fewer physicians, limit choice for patients, increase wait times for referrals and increase premiums. Competition is necessary to ensure high-quality care, which is why we continue to denounce these mergers.”
CMA has expressed concerns with the mergers for months, urging action, testifying before regulators and publishing condemning the consolidation.
Contact: Griffin Rogers, (916) 551-2870 or firstname.lastname@example.org.