A Clear Victory for Physicians and Patients
For immediate release
February 9, 2017
(North Haven, CT) – Connecticut State Medical Society President Jeffrey Gordon, MD and CSMS EVP/CEO Matthew Katz have issued the following statement in response to last night’s US District Court ruling:
The Connecticut State Medical Society applauds the ruling made by US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson against the proposed $54B merger between insurance giants Anthem and Cigna. This is a clear victory for physicians and patients, protecting accessibility, affordability and quality of medical care. In Connecticut, the merger would have further consolidated our state’s already highly-concentrated insurance market. Judge Berman’s ruling complements the ruling by Judge John Bates in the Aetna-Humana merger case, made in January of this year.
In the ruling, Judge Jackson wrote, “The evidence has also shown that the merger is likely to result in higher prices, and that it will have other anticompetitive effects.”
Since late 2015, CSMS has expressed serious concerns about the potential negative effects of the Anthem-Cigna and Aetna-Humana “mega-mergers.” It is unlikely that the mergers would have yielded the promised savings from economies of scale. Instead, they would have harmed patients and physicians, by forcing consumers to accept increased premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket costs, and by forcing physicians to accept reductions in payment.
The mergers would also have harmed competition in insurance markets. Placing profits ahead of patients would lead to reduced access to care in many markets, including some areas that already face dangerously high levels of market concentration. Competition, not consolidation, is the key to ensuring continued access to high quality medical care.
CSMS has been working here in Connecticut with the Universal Healthcare Foundation of Connecticut, the Connecticut Citizen Action Group, and the Connecticut Attorney General's office to ensure that market competition and patient access to care are protected. Similar CSMS efforts were undertaken at the national level, working with the American Medical Association, the US Department of Justice, and US Senator Richard Blumenthal.
The physicians of the Connecticut State Medical Society thank Judge Jackson and Judge Bates for protecting patients and physicians with their decisions in these complex health insurance merger cases.
CSMS VP of Communications