via Wall Street Journal
The chief executives of Aetna Inc. and Anthem Inc. defended their merger deals before a Senate subcommittee, facing sharply critical testimony that raised questions about the impact of health-insurance consolidation.
Aetna is seeking to acquire Humana Inc., in a $34 billion transactionfocused largely on the private Medicare plans known as Medicare Advantage. Anthem aims to take over Cigna Corp. in a $48 billion deal. The two deals together would shrink the top five U.S. health insurers to a big three, each with annual revenue of more than $100 billion. The third player would be UnitedHealth Group Inc.
In their testimony before the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust, Mark T. Bertolini of Aetna and Joseph R. Swedish of Anthem emphasized that health care is delivered largely on a local basis, and they argued that markets would remain competitive if they completed their mergers. Both CEOs also said their deals would benefit consumers and encourage new forms of payment to health-care providers.