WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The Department of Justice, along with attorneys general from multiple states and the District of Columbia, have sued to block Anthem’s proposed acquisition of Cigna and Aetna’s proposed acquisition of Humana. The department argues the transactions would unfairly harm competition.

The moves would decrease the number of larger, national health insurance companies in the U.S. from five to three. The department and state attorneys general filed merger challenges in the District of Columbia, stating the acquisitions could hurt seniors, working families and individuals, employers and doctors.

“Competitive insurance markets are essential to providing Americans the affordable and high-quality health care they deserve,” Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch said. “These mergers would restrict competition for health insurance products sold in markets across the country and would give tremendous power over the nation’s health insurance industry to just three large companies.”

The 11 states opposing Anthem’s merger are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Tennessee and Virginia. The eight states against Aetna’s move are Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

“We all, including seniors, everyday workers and the previously uninsured and underinsured, deserve affordable health insurance options,” said principal deputy associate attorney General Bill Baer. “Competition today drives these four successful firms to fight to give us affordable options.”

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