Fasano, Kelly, McLachlan: Gov. Malloy Must Urge Denial of Cigna-Anthem Merger

July 20, 2016

Hartford – Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven), Senator Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford) and Senator Mike McLachlan (R-Danbury) are calling on Governor Dannel P. Malloy to urge denial of Cigna and Anthem’s proposed merger currently under review by the state’s Insurance Department and Attorney General.

“Based on the Connecticut Insurance Commissioner’s lack of transparency in responding to our FOI requests and complete dismissal of concerns regarding conflicts of interest, along with reports of increased political donations by both insurance companies, the proposed Anthem-Cigna merger reeks of inappropriate behavior. On top of that, officials have warned that this merger will hurt competition and provide ‘no discernible benefit’ to consumers, according to the state’s Attorney General. In light of these mounting concerns, Gov. Malloy should raise his voice and urge denial of this proposed merger,” said Fasano, Kelly and McLachlan.

“There is a dark cloud of doubt engulfing the entire merger process. First, you have a commissioner overseeing the merger who has direct ties to one of the insurance companies and who has refused to recuse herself or recognize any conflict of interest. Then, you have that same commissioner being less than forthcoming with information requested of her department, thereby casting a shadow on any claim to transparency. Finally, you have two insurance companies that have upped their political donations significantly in recent months, coinciding with their efforts to gain state support for their merger around the country. This whole situation casts a shadow of distrust on the process. At this point, denying the merger is the only way to lift that cloud.

“According to Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen, such a large merger would completely alter the health care industry with no apparent benefit to consumers. He also has warned that this would be a blow to competition which could lead to ‘higher prices and negative effects on quality of care through reduced products, service and innovation.’ So why would our state allow this merger to move forward? Considering the multiple ethical questions surrounding this merger, paired with the potential for harm to Connecticut consumers, the state should deny this merger request.”

“Gov. Malloy was more than willing to use his executive authority to stop a hospital merger in the middle of an administrative review and yet here, despite the warnings from our own Attorney General, doctors, and patient and consumer advocates, he has remained silent. Why the difference? Could it be because the hospital industry challenged his policies and opposed harmful cuts to Medicaid and programs for the vulnerable? There is no excuse for not stepping in and raising concerns now.”