August 02, 2018
Area(s) of Interest: Advocacy Commercial Payors Payor Issues and Reimbursement
Today, the California Medical Association (CMA) applauded the finding of the California Department of Insurance that the proposed merger between CVS Health and Aetna, Inc. would significantly reduce competition in California’s health insurance market and calls on the U.S. Department of Justice to block the merger from proceeding.
In a letter submitted to the U.S. Attorney General and Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones concluded that the proposed merger would create anti-competitive conditions in the Medicare Part D market, the Pharmacy Benefit Manager services market and the retail pharmacy market, which would negatively impact affordability of health care for California consumers and limit access to necessary care.
“CMA strongly supports the findings of the Department of Insurance that this proposed merger would result in reduced competition, higher prices and more constrained access to health care in California,” said CMA President Theodore M. Mazer, M.D. “This merger would threaten to put treatment decisions in the hands of non-medical professionals, which could lead to dictating treatment based on corporate profit over the medical needs of the patient.”
This conclusion comes after an extensive public review process by the California Departments of Insurance and Managed Health Care, in which CMA raised concerns that the proposed merger would negatively harm California’s health care market by increasing costs to consumers. The U.S. Department of Justice is ultimately responsible for suing to block any proposed merger if it creates an anti-competitive market.
“CMA has testified throughout this thorough public review process that the merging of these two behemoths in the health care market could be especially harmful to California patients and consumers, and we call on the U.S. Department of Justice to heed these warnings and prevent this dangerous merger from moving forward,” said Dr. Mazer.
The California Medical Association represents the state’s physicians with more than 43,000 members in all modes of practice and specialties, and CMA is dedicated to the health of all patients in California. For more information, please visit CMAdocs.org, and follow CMA on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.