Medicine Challenged Insurance Mega-Mergers and Won
Landmark ruling upheld, protects U.S. patients and physicians
May 10, 2017
On April 28, a federal appeals court upheld the lower court’s ruling to block industry giant Anthem’s proposed acquisition of Cigna. This is a monumental win for America’s patients and physicians, which was made possible through medicine’s joint leadership -- most notably collaboration between the Tennessee Medical Association and the American Medical Association.
“These insurance companies were trying to stack the deck,” said AMA President Andrew W. Gurman, MD. “They sought even more negotiating power over you. But, using hard data in conjunction with partners, we were able to convince the courts not to allow this to occur.”
Barring an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, this decision concludes a successful campaign by the AMA and 17 state medical societies, including key work from TMA to protect member physicians and their patients. For 21 months, AMA, state medical societies and other partners examined the current landscape in each state, as well as the future implications of these proposed mega-mergers. The AMA’s annual Competition in Health Insurance, an analysis of insurance markets, showed nearly half of all states could see diminished competition in local health insurance markets if the Anthem-Cigna and Aetna-Humana mega-mergers were allowed to proceed.
With the evidence its side, the coalition advocated before the U.S. Department of Justice, congressional committees, state attorneys general, insurance commissioners, and federal courts, and this outcome illustrates that when the House of Medicine joins together, the best outcome for patients and doctors can be achieved.
At a time when there are too many divisions, medicine has come together. Help sustain our advocacy efforts on issues of importance to you and your patients by joining or renewing with TMA, and consider supporting the AMA.