California Insurance Commissioner Asks DOJ To Block CVS-Aetna Merger

The top insurance official in California urged the U.S. Justice Department to block the merger of CVS Health and Aetna, saying it would “have significant anti-competitive impacts on American consumers and health care and health insurance markets.”

The findings and recommendation by California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones doesn’t derail the effort by CVS Health to buy Aetna, but the state regulator could have influence with the U.S. Justice Department as it evaluates the deal. California’s insurance regulator described the Justice Department evaluation of the Aetna-CVS deal as “open” and outlined its reasoning for DOJ to block it in a 15-page letter.

“The proposed merger of CVS and Aetna will significantly reduce competition in the PBM and Medicare Part D markets, affecting millions of health care consumers throughout the country,” the California Insurance Commissioner said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. “A merger of this size and type, according to experts on health insurer and health care mergers, will likely lead to increased prices and decreased quality.” (read more)