Clinton has ‘serious concerns’ about health insurance mergers

Clinton has ‘serious concerns’ about health insurance mergers

Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham Clinton'Teflon Don' avoids the scorn of the 'family values' GOP — again Don't expect Trump-sized ratings for Democratic debates Ocasio-Cortez on Biden: 'I think that he's not a pragmatic choice' MORE is raising objections to the proposed mergers of several of the nation’s largest healthcare companies, which — if she is elected — would go into effect during her time in office.

“As we see more consolidation in health care, among both providers and insurers, I’m worried that the balance of power is moving too far away from consumers,” she said in a statement, doubling down on her promise to crack down on health insurance companies in the post-ObamaCare era.

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Clinton said she has “serious concerns” with the proposed mergers between Anthem and Cigna and between Aetna and Humana that are currently underway. The deals will be under review by the Department of Justice for the next year or so, likely running into the next president's tenure.

She also dismissed the idea that customers would benefit from the mergers, as the companies have repeated.

“These mergers should be scrutinized very closely with an eye to preventing the undue concentration that they appear to create,” she wrote. “The evidence from careful studies shows that too often the companies end up pocketing profits rather than passing savings to consumers.”

Clinton has already vowed a crackdown on insurance mergers in her healthcare plan laid out last month. She said that she would be “vigilant to prevent consolidation that harms consumers,” making an indirect reference to the proposed mergers though she did not name them.

The top health insurance lobbying group, America’s Health Insurance Plans, quickly fought back in a statement Wednesday, arguing that the plans are already existing in “one of the most competitive and highly regulated environments in the country.”

The merger mania in the healthcare market has for months been used as a line of attack by Republicans against ObamaCare.

Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPelosi: Congress will receive election security briefing in July Adam Scott calls on McConnell to take down 'Parks & Rec' gif Trump says he spoke to Pelosi, McConnell on border package MORE (R-Ky.), have blamed ObamaCare for planned mergers, pointing to the spate of new regulations they say make it tougher for smaller companies to survive.

No top Republicans, however, have called for the outright rejection of the mergers.

The Republican National Committee on Wednesday called it hypocritical for Clinton to single out of the insurance companies while backing the healthcare law overall. 

“It certainly is rich for Hillary Clinton to complain about the side effects of ObamaCare while she continues to stand by this failed and unpopular law. But judging from her proposal, one really has to wonder whether Hillary Clinton is simply trying to have it both ways on health care or if this is a back door strategy to bring about single payer," spokesman Michael Short said in a statement.

 This post was updated at 1:46 p.m.