On Sunday, drugstore giant CVS Health unveiled that it plans to acquire American health insurer Aetna for $69 billion. The deal could shake the U.S. healthcare industry as the line between two traditionally separated industries has just become thinner.
The merger is expected to make the two companies more competitive via new, readily available healthcare products. And the timing of the move can pave the way to new opportunities or disasters. The Republicans are working on a tax plan to slash taxes which could severely impact funding to programs like Medicare.
Plus, congressional members aren’t sure what to do with the Obama-era Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare – repeal it or save it. Consumers and employers, in the meantime, are struggling with increasing healthcare costs. On top of that, traditional industry players face new challenges as Amazon and other notable competitors are threatening their business.
A CVS-Aetna merger could address many of those issues, with consumers benefiting the most, experts claim. For instance, Aetna could tap CVS’ chain of pharmacies and other resources to gain direct access to patients. Plus, with CVS and Aetna under the same roof, employees will have a single-stop shopping place for employee insurance.
Some Healthcare Industry Changes May Not Benefit Consumers
However, not all industry experts think the merger is a good thing. Consumers could face a sharp limitation to their choices when it comes to prescription drugs or health care. They could be forced to get their care from CVS if they have an insurance with Aetna.
On Sunday, however, both companies argued that the merger would mean lower prices for patients. Aetna insisted that the access to CVS pharmacies will offer people better access to healthcare.
It’s in their community. It’s in their home. CVS has the draw. People trust their pharmacist,
Aetna’s CEO Mark T. Bertolini told reporters Sunday.
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