CVS to acquire health insurer Aetna

2017 has not seen the torrid pace of mega-mergers like the business world experienced in 2016, but the proposed merger between CVS and Aetna could follow the old adage of “saving the best for last.”

According to a recent nytimes.com report, the retail pharmacy chain reportedly purchased the health care insurer for $69 billion. Analysts see the deal as one that could radically change the health care industry. 

In a time where there is increasing uncertainty over the future of government programs such as Medicare, and the push from businesses to maximize health care dollars, the Aetna acquisition is positioned to make the new company more attractive to cash strapped consumers. Essentially, services that were traditionally performed at doctor’s offices and standalone health clinics could be covered at a CVS.

Additionally, prescriptions insured by Aetna would undoubtedly be fulfilled by the same company, ostensibly saving money and creating a competitive option in the wake of rising competitors such as Amazon.

However, critics are bemoaning the potential lack of choices for consumers, which could lead to more expensive care when competition dissipates. Nevertheless, principals for both companies believe that using nurses and pharmacists to counsel people about ailments or diagnose conditions could be much more affordable and change the landscape of delivering care.

Indeed, the deal is far from finished as it must pass scrutiny from federal regulators. After all, they blocked a massive deal involving health care insurers Athem and Cigna. But under the Trump administration, antitrust concerns may be different. 

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