The anti-trust case where the government has been seeking to block the Aetna-Humana from merging has a ruling. The District Court judge has sided with the FTC and blocked the merger. I would be shocked if the ruling is not appealed.
There is a bit in here that made me smile as it gives some context to some of my more cynical writing over the summer. Aetna was profitable on the QHP market in Pennsylvania. However it pulled out of the entire state despite making a good deal of money.
Aetna was profitable in 2015 in the individual market in Pennsylvania. It is projecting to be profitable in 2017. The filing memo was drafted in late May and submitted to the Pennsylvania regulators in early June. Conditions have not changed enough to make Pennsylvania a money loser in under two months.
My wee bit of cynicism bears fruit. Aetna is trying to logroll an anti-competetive merger with on-Exchange political consequences.
The judge seems to be a cynical bastard as well:
Aetna ditched ACA exchanges to make itself look smaller and help its proposed Humana merger avoid antitrust scrutiny, judge rules pic.twitter.com/NzBbfcm4KT
— Jeff Overley (@JeffOverley) January 23, 2017
I’ll have more on this including a policy perspective when I have time to write, but cynicism was completely justified.