Due to new regulatory demands there have been dramatic changes in the healthcare landscape over the years. While the goals of the Affordable Care Act are noble the results have certainly increased the costs of healthcare and caused insurers and medical systems to consolidate in order to absorb costs. Which is why Anthem and Cigna are seeking to do just that. Doing so, may be the only way to continue to deliver innovative healthcare and wellness services, while absorbing costs to keep their rates affordable for consumers.
While government officials typically try to break up businesses and stop mergers like this, history has shown us that government intervention always harms the consumer. In his book, Antitrust and Monopoly: Anatomy of a Policy Failure, Hartford Professor Dominick Armentano examined fifty-five of the most famous antitrust cases in U.S. history and concluded that in every single case, the accused companies were dropping prices, expanding production, innovating, and generally benefiting consumers.
A merger between Anthem-Cigna will allow for improved programs that better identify and manage the factors that drive the cost of care. These combined efforts, along with the best of their product offerings and available services mean that consumers will be the winners.
Both Anthem and Cigna currently offer innovative technology solutions that improve the healthcare experience for consumers, but would be more impactful combined.
Specifically, Anthem’s LiveHealthOnline makes it easy for customers to securely connect with a doctor around-the-clock to get quick answers to questions in a way and time that is convenient for them. Cigna’s Health Matters allows consumers to track activity levels and improve health habits while earning rewards for taking these steps. Combining these two would certainly create a more complete experience for patients.
Now that government regulators have moved the cheese and created a new regulatory scheme, it only makes sense that they would allow Anthem and Cigna to adjust and adapt appropriately so they can continue provide Missourians with access to quality and affordable health insurance.
State Rep. Eric Burlison, R-Springfield
Send your opinions to the Mailbag for online and print publishing consideration to email@example.com.