Readers React: Feds should foil the giant Anthem-Cigna merger
To the editor: It’s astounding that health insurer Anthem would even hope to win regulatory approval to acquire Cigna. After all, the proposed deal between Comcast and Time Warner Cable unraveled out of concerns that the combined company would control 50% of the broadband market. (“Firms should stop pretending that high-profile mergers will benefit consumers,” July 28)
Here, it’s not consumers’ right to stream videos that will be dominated, but individuals’ right to affordable health insurance. Surely, a merger that would create the largest health insurer in the country must raise insurmountable antitrust concerns.
Not only should we be concerned about the combined mega-insurer’s power to control prices and limit health plan options, but also about the increased power it would yield over medical decisions. Already, health insurers override medical providers’ decisions on treatment options, not because insurance company employees have better medical training, but because they have the clout.
Just imagine what Anthem could do if it controlled more than 50% of the commercial insurance market.
Julie Ryan, Sherman Oaks
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