Feds sue to block two giant health insurer mergers, fearing cost hike, care decline

The Japan Times 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. government is suing to stop two major health insurance mergers, a move regulators say is needed to protect Americans from potential cost hikes and lower quality care. The Department of Justice said Thursday that the combinations of Aetna and Humana and Anthem and Cigna would hurt competition that restrains the price of coverage and reduce benefits, among other drawbacks. Aetna Inc. proposed last summer to buy Humana Inc. for 34 billion, while Anthem Inc. moved to acquire Cigna Corp. for 48 billion. The companies said Thursday they plan to fight the federal suit. Anthem, the Blue Cross-Blue Shield insurer, called it "an unfortunate and misguided" step backward for access to affordable care.

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