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Business

Health insurers ready to fight to unblock mergers

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Opening sequence

Business

Health insurers ready to fight to unblock mergers

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COMING UP:Health insurers ready to fight to unblock mergers

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Transcript

00:00:01
>> And today, I'm announcing that the Department of Justice is suing to block both Aetna's acquisition of Humana and Anthem's acquisition of Cigna.>> And with Thursday's announcement from Attorney General Loretta Lynch, the battle lines are drawn to stop a massive consolidation in the health insurance sector. The DOJ moving to block the two mega deals, worth a combined $80 billion.
00:00:23
On the grounds the nation's big five insurers would shrink to just three, threatening to push premiums higher. Reuters health and former correspondent Caroline Humer says, even though the DOJ denies it, there are some on Wall Street who think there's a whiff of politics at work.>> The White House and the Department of Health and Human Services that runs Obamacare is very worried about competition in the health insurance market.
00:00:50
They're worried that prices are going up for health care overall, for drugs, they wanna keep things down.>> But the insurance companies aren't taking this lying down.>> Aetna and Humana put out a pretty, strongly worded statement, saying that they were gonna fight this lawsuit, and we're hearing the same thing from Anthem and Cigna.
00:01:09
>> All four stocks involved were down in early trading, but reversed losses after Humana significantly boosted its earnings forecast for the year, saying its core business was doing better than expected, even without a merger.