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Pallone Calls for Hearings on Proposed CVS Health-Aetna Merger

Dec 5, 2017
Press Release

Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) sent a letter to Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) today requesting a hearing on the proposed merger between CVS Health and Aetna.  The recently proposed $69 billion merger may be the largest of its kind in a series of recent mergers in the healthcare system, which have significant potential to affect millions of consumers across the country.

“As the business of healthcare continues to morph, it is critical that Congress closely examine the changing relationships among healthcare entities and the impact these changing relationships have on the way healthcare is delivered in this country,” Pallone wrote to Chairman Walden. The Committee, in particular, has an ongoing responsibility to evaluate and consider these changes to our healthcare system, so as to better understand the impact on consumers, patients, and providers.”

“Due to the scale of the CVS Health-Aetna merger, these changes should be thoroughly scrutinized and understood by the members of this Committee.  I encourage you to schedule a hearing on this important matter as soon as possible,” Pallone concluded.

Full text of the letter is available below:

December 5, 2017

 

The Honorable Greg Walden

Chairman

Committee on Energy and Commerce

2125 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Walden:

            I am writing to request you hold a hearing on the recent proposed merger of CVS Health-Aetna. The pharmacy company, CVS Health, and the nation’s third largest health insurer, Aetna, recently proposed a $69 billion merger.   The subsequent operation would be a new frontier in American healthcare delivery – with significant potential for benefit or harm to consumers across the country.

            The merger is the most recent development in an ongoing trend of consolidation and market concentration in our healthcare system.   In recent years, various types of mergers and acquisitions in the healthcare system have become more common, especially across traditionally separate lines of business.   The newly proposed merger of CVS Health and Aetna is the most recent example, and perhaps the largest.  Increasingly, health systems are offering health insurance and insurers are buying or partnering with health care providers.  In addition, large corporations such as Amazon are considering pharmacy or healthcare operations, expanding their businesses in completely new directions.

            As the business of healthcare continues to morph, it is critical that Congress closely examine the changing relationships among healthcare entities and the impact these changing relationships have on the way healthcare is delivered in this country.

            The Committee, in particular, has an ongoing responsibility to evaluate and consider these changes to our healthcare system, so as to better understand the impact on consumers, patients, and providers.  Due to the scale of the CVS Health-Aetna merger, these changes should be thoroughly scrutinized and understood by the members of this Committee. 

            I encourage you to schedule a hearing on this important matter as soon as possible.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Frank Pallone, Jr.

Ranking Member

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