Washington, DC - "AMA Applauds DOJ Effort to Block the Creation of Two Health Insurer Goliaths" Andrew W. Gurman, M.D.
President, American Medical Association:

"The AMA applauds the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for fighting to protect patients and physicians from a health insurance system dominated by a few corporate Goliaths with unprecedented market power. Patients are better served in a health care system that promotes competition and choice.

"The prospect of reducing five national health insurance carriers to just three is unacceptable. Given the mergers' potential to significantly compromise market competition, the AMA strongly supports the antitrust challenge from federal regulators.

"Today's action by the DOJ acknowledges the AMA's concern that patients' interests can be harmed when big insurers acquire rivals and develop strangleholds on local markets. Allowing commercial health insurers to become too big and exert control over the delivery of health care would be bad for patients and vitality of the nation's health care system.

"With existing competition in health insurance markets already at alarmingly low levels, federal officials have a strong obligation to enforce antitrust laws that prohibit harmful mergers and foster a more competitive market place that will operate in the patients' best interests."