MAG calling for emails to block mergers as Georgia AG joins DOJ lawsuit to do the same

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) is calling on Georgia physicians and practice staff to take a few moments to send emails to mergercomments@oci.ga.gov by the end of this week to urge Georgia’s Division of Insurance (DOI) to block the pending Aetna/Humana merger.

Key points…

– The mergers would reduce competition and place physicians and their patients at a growing disadvantage as these companies seize increasingly-dominant positions in the marketplace.

– The combined entities would control over 50 percent of the individual health insurance market in Georgia and nearly 50 percent of the small group insurance market in Georgia.

– The combined entities would be able to control the Medicare Advantage market (i.e., seniors) in Georgia, which is one of our most vulnerable patient populations.

– A few insurers would be able to institute policies that will exacerbate the physician shortage and undermine the economic viability of Georgia’s health care system – especially in rural areas where hospitals and medical practices are struggling to keep their doors open.

MAG President John S. Harvey, M.D., was scheduled to testify at a DOI hearing on the mergers on Tuesday, July 26 – but MAG has been notified that the meeting has been cancelled. 

DOI has reportedly already received hundreds of emails from physicians.

And in a significant development that was just announced several hours ago, the U.S. Department of Justice and attorneys general from eight states – including Sam Olens of Georgia – and the District of Columbia have filed a lawsuit to “block Anthem’s proposed acquisition of Cigna and Aetna’s proposed acquisition of Humana, alleging that the transactions would increase concentration and harm competition across the country, reducing from five to three the number of large, national health insurers in the nation.”

“The Medical Association of Georgia applauds Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens for his vision and leadership,” Dr. Harvey said of the news. “He clearly understands why these mergers would have such disastrous results, and he has enhanced his reputation as a genuine advocate for patients and physicians in the state.”

Contact MAG Legal Counsel Trish Yeatts at pyeatts@mag.org with questions. 

Click for MAG mergers web page

Click for DOJ press release