One of Goya’s “Titan” paintings.
Two proposed mergers of U.S. health insurers would hurt competition in the health-insurance sector, the American Medical Association, the largest U.S. group representing physicians, said.
The AMA denounced Aetna’s plan to buy Humana and Anthem’s plan to buy Cigna as anti-competitive. Many physicians worry that the new, even bigger insurance companies that would be formed by these mergers would have the ability to force down U.S. physicians’ compensation — the world’s highest compensation by far for doctors.
The insurers, for their part, assert that that the deals would let them offer cheaper insurance by using their increased size to negotiate better prices with physicians and hospitals.
The AMA said that the Anthem-Cigna behemoth would increase market power in 13 states where the behemoth would sell individual insurance plans and competition would decrease in all 14 states where Anthem currently operates Blue Cross Blue Shield plans.
The Aetna-Humana combination, the AMA said, would raise anti-competitive issues in 14 states overall.
The American Hospital Association recently said that its analysis of the deals found that they would cut competition.