Barbara L. McAneny
AMA has determined that the proposed merger of CVS Health and Aetna should be blocked due to its likely negative consequences for patients and health insurance markets, according to a press release.
“After very careful consideration over the past months, the AMA has come to the conclusion that this merger would likely substantially lessen competition in many health care markets, to the detriment of patients,” Barbara L. McAneny, MD, president of AMA, said during testimony to California Department of Insurance.
During the analysis of the merger, the AMA gathered perspectives of prominent academic experts in health economics, health policy and antitrust law.
Later this month, AMA will outline its concerns with the merger in a posthearing memorandum, according to the press release. In the filing, AMA will call attention to the potential negative effects of the CVS-Aetna merger regarding health care access, quality and affordability.
Specifically, AMA is concerned that the merger will:
- Increase premiums as a result of a significant surge in market concentration in 30 of 34 Medicare Part D regional markets;
- Increase drug spending and out-of-pocket costs; and
- Decrease competition in health insurance markets and thus, raise premiums and reduce quality of insurance.
“What the AMA heard from nationally recognized experts at today’s California hearing corroborates the AMA’s analysis and conclusions regarding the negative impact of the CVS-Aetna merger,” McAneny said. “Thanks to Insurance Commissioner [David] Jones’ decision to hold this hearing, federal and state antitrust officials now have powerful reasons to block this harmful merger and foster a more competitive marketplace that will operate in patients' best interests.”
The AMA urges federal and state regulators to oppose the merger, according to the release.
McAneny is president of AMA.