Federal Choose Will Maintain Hearings On CVS-Aetna Merger

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In a extremely uncommon transfer, the decide will enable testimony from witnesses who’ve objections to the Justice Division’s resolution on the already-approved deal.

by Shane McKeon

CVS and Aetna have been functioning as one merged firm for just a few months now. However, due to an outdated antitrust regulation often known as the Tunney Act, the D.C. Circuit Court docket is reviewing the Justice Division’s phrases for the merger. It’s mainly a evaluate of a evaluate, taking place after the very fact, the place the court docket is deciding whether or not the DOJ did sufficient to guard competitors.

Choose Richard Leon isn’t satisfied that it did. So he’s taking the bizarre step of getting witnesses testify about their issues with the Justice Division’s resolution. Choose’s critiques underneath the Tunney Act are normally simply cursory. It’s unclear what would occur if the decide tried to pressure adjustments within the merger’s phrases. There’s just about no precedent for a decide searching for adjustments like that underneath the act.

This doesn’t imply the CVS-Aetna merger goes wherever. CVS, which has its headquarters in Woonsocket, declined to remark.

Amanda Starc, a healthcare economist at Northwestern College, says the merger may result in fewer decisions and better prices for customers. Nevertheless it additionally may give Aetna good purpose to make pharmaceuticals extra reasonably priced.

“You may prefer it if the one that’s paying on your medical payments can also be the particular person paying on your drug payments,” Starc stated. “Why would you want that? Nicely, then they’ve all the best incentive to maintain you wholesome, as a result of in the event that they spend somewhat extra ensuring you are taking your pharmaceuticals so that you don’t find yourself within the hospital, they get to maintain that financial savings.”

However George Stover, a senior coverage counsel at Shopper Stories, says the merger is unhealthy information for customers.

“Competitors makes certain that {the marketplace} works for customers,” Stover stated. “This merger, we’re involved, goes to have an opposed impression on these decisions and the way they play out within the market.”

Federal Judge Will Hold Hearings On CVS-Aetna Merger
Federal Choose Will Maintain Hearings On CVS-Aetna Merger

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