The impact of ObamaCare on doctors and patients, companies inside and outside the health sector, and American workers and taxpayers
News that Anthem will buy Cigna for $54 billion– a deal that closely follows the proposed merger of Aetna and Humana — will intensify regulators’ focus on antitrust issues in the health insurance industry.
Because Anthem’s proposed acquisition of Cigna creates the nation’s largest health insurer with 53 million customers, it’s already being met with a healthy dose of criticism from doctors and hospitals who say insurers are already squeezing them.
Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Scott Gottlieb argues that the Aetna-Humana and the Anthem-Cigna combinations are evidence of waning insurer competition that is the direct result of Obamacare. Not only are ACOs not a panacea, but the Affordable Care Act’s insurance mandate to limit administrative costs is forcing Aetna et al to spread their costs over a larger base.
Health insurance mergers have hit the headlines recently. Aetna and Humana led off by announcing their merger, followed by the agreement by Cigna to be purchased by Anthem. To some, the most notable outcome of these mergers is that they yield two very large insurers, and leave the U.S. with three large health insurers with annual revenues in the $150 billion range. In this populist, “big is bad” era there are already calls for the Justice Department to step in and prevent the mergers. Let’s think this through step by step.
With millions of people getting health insurance coverage since 2010, health insurers can buy one another faster than they can sign up new customers.
The Affordable Care Act created a new kind of “cooperative” health insurance arrangement heralded by supporters of health reform. The co-ops were founded on the idealistic belief that community members could band together to create health insurance companies that would be member-driven, service-oriented, and would not have to answer to shareholders or turn a profit.
The Louisiana Department of Insurance announced today that the Louisiana Health Cooperative, Inc. (Co-Op), a health insurer formed under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as a non-profit health insurance company, will be winding down its operations at the end of 2015. The Co-Op will not offer coverage in 2016 but will continue to honor all in-force policies for the approximately 17,000 individuals that currently receive health insurance coverage from the Co-Op. Most of the Co-Op members enrolled in coverage through the health insurance exchange operated by the federal government under the ACA.
Anthem Inc. has agreed to acquire rival Cigna Corp. for $54 billion, creating the health insurance industry’s biggest company by enrollment.
The agreement announced Friday caps weeks of frenzied deal making in the healthcare sector.
Glenview Capital Management LLC made a bold decision when President Barack Obama’s health-care overhaul was rolling out: Bet on it.
A group of Colorado nuns said Thursday they will go to the U.S. Supreme Court to appeal a ruling that allows their employees to receive birth control from a third party under the Affordable Care Act, fueling a combustible argument over contraception and religion ahead of next year’s presidential election.
Momentum is building for a House vote on the rarest of bills: bipartisan legislation to reform President Barack Obama’s signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act. The Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees, or PACE Act would tweak the employer mandate to shield larger businesses from stricter requirements.