Politico, September 17, 2018
Paul Demko

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Federal regulators have approved health insurer Cigna’s $52 billion acquisition of drug benefits manager Express Scripts, a mega deal that's the latest evidence of health care giants bulking up, the companies said in an announcement Monday.

The combination represents a major reshuffling of the health care industry as companies try to constrain costs and gird for the long-expected entrance of Amazon into the sector.

The Justice Department reportedly is also close to approving CVS Health’s blockbuster acquisition of Aetna, which would create one of the country’s biggest health care companies.

The looming approval of the deals comes two years after Obama administration regulators blocked a major proposed consolidation in the health insurance industry over concerns about diminished competition. DOJ successfully sued in 2016 to halt Anthem’s proposed acquisition of Cigna and Aetna’s merger with Humana.

By contrast, the Cigna-Express Scripts deal was expected to be approved with few strings attached. [...]

health care finance health law policy insurance market pharmaceuticals regulation