In light of Anthem's deal to acquire Cigna, as well as Aetna's planned acquisition of Humana, Cigna CEO David Cordani, right, is sticking up for the recent consolidation in the industry, Reuters reports.
"It's going to increase choice, not decrease choice. It's going to increase affordability, not decrease affordability," he tells the news service.
Provider groups such as the American Hospital Association and American Medical Association have argued publicly against the mergers, claiming the the deals would most likely decrease competition among insurers, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.
But Cordani says that despite what the critics say, the deals will produce results-oriented contracts with doctors and hospitals that ultimately will help consumers be healthier and trim medical spending.
And when it comes to gaining approval from the Department of Justice (DOJ) to solidify the merger, Cordani believes the regulatory review--expected to last 12 to 18 months--will uncover few competitive issues. For the most part, there is was little geographical overlap in Cigna's Medicaid and Medicare businesses, he points out. What's more, there should be no problems with the insurer's individuals business, nor its employer-based plans.
Additionally, Cigna has hired three lobbying firms to argue its case in Washington.
Cordani adds that insurers ultimately would not benefit from cutting costs through merging because consumers usually want those savings to be passed onto them.
Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini has also gone public to explain the benefits of his company's pending deal with Humana, saying the deal will help Aetna compete in a consumer-driven marketplace.
- here's the Reuters article