Hillary Clinton calls for more scrutiny over health care mergers

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Story highlights

  • Hillary Clinton has "serious concerns" about healthcare mergers
  • "These mergers should be scrutinized very closely with an eye to preventing the undue concentration that they appear to create," Clinton said

Washington (CNN)Hillary Clinton called for more scrutiny into the mergers of two different big health insurance companies Wednesday, questioning whether the mergers mean "the balance of power is moving too far away from consumers."

Clinton, in a statement to reporters, said she has "serious concerns" about mergers between Anthem and Cigna and Aetna and Humana.
"These mergers should be scrutinized very closely with an eye to preventing the undue concentration that they appear to create," Clinton said. "I am very skeptical of the claim that consumers will benefit from them because the evidence from careful studies shows that too often the companies end up pocketing profits rather than passing savings to consumers."
    Anthem has agreed to acquire Cigna in a $54 billion deal in July. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2016, if it passes state regulatory approvals and other requirements. The merged insurer would cover 53 million members and leave only three major players in the insurance industry.
    In the same month, Aetna agreed to buy Humana for $37 billion. The new company will have more than 33 million members.
    Clinton said these companies "bear the heavy burden of demonstrating that consumers will benefit."
    As president, Clinton said she would "strengthen the antitrust enforcement arms of the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission and appoint aggressive regulators to take on troubling concentration wherever it occurs in the health care industry, among other sectors."