Thursday, July 23, 2015

Single Payer US Health Care; Now Down To Three Major Health Care Insurers -- July 23, 2015

Anthem will buy Cigna for almost $50 billion. Hold that thought.

I think this is a most interesting story that is being played out before our collective eyes.

This is the theme, posted on June 28, 2015.
It won't happen overnight, and it might not happen for 5 years, or even 10 years, but I will live long enough to see one federal exchange for ObamaCare.

And that, folks, is the National Health Service.

And that, folks, is a single payer, using five big US health insurers to distribute the money from the consumers to the health care providers.
Again, that was posted less than a month ago.

Before going to the new story today, here are previous posts for background:
Okay, as predicted as long ago as 2013 by yours truly, what has been announced so far:
  • Centene Corp will buy HealthNet
  • Aetna will buy Humana
And this week it is announced that Anthem will buy Cigna for $48 billion.

Note also that it appears the regulators are letting all these mergers go through, and yet will not allow HAL to buy BHI on monopoly grounds.

Back to Anthem/Cigna. If you have read this far, which I doubt, consider this:
Anthem Inc. is nearing a deal to buy Cigna Corp. for more than $48 billion in a transaction that along with a previously proposed combination of rivals would shrink the five largest U.S. health insurers to just three.
Anthem, based in Indianapolis, is expected to pay about $188 a share for Cigna, of Bloomfield, CT, according to people familiar with the matter. A deal between the two companies could be announced as soon as Thursday afternoon. 
The tie-up of Anthem and Cigna would accelerate the rapid-fire reconfiguration at the top of the U.S. managed-care industry. The biggest companies are seeking more cost efficiency and scale as the health-care landscape changes because of the Affordable Care Act and other factors.
One last name to watch:
Of the five largest health insurers, only UnitedHealth Group Inc., the largest by revenue, is sitting out the merger wave, at least so far.
The WSJ says regulators may not approve all these mergers. So, we'll see. But it doesn't really matter. If the mergers are not approved, the weakest of the large companies will gradually implode, while the larger ones simply steal their customers. 

The regulators will simply slow the inevitable.

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