DOJ’s Investigation Into UnitedHealth Group Is Good News for Patients and Healthcare Workers

February 27, 2024 Press Release

Washington, DC — In response to news that the Department of Justice has launched an antitrust investigation into healthcare giant UnitedHealth Group, the American Economic Liberties Project released the following statement.

“The Department of Justice is right to investigate UnitedHealth Group for monopolization, and we hope to see enforcement action taken soon,” said Matt Stoller, Research Director at the American Economic Liberties Project. “For years, UnitedHealth has unfairly and illegally leveraged each of its businesses to strategically squeeze out competitors and monopolize all corners of healthcare, from insurance and pharmaceuticals to home health care. In the process, UnitedHealth has degraded patient care, demoralized and devalued doctors and nurses, put independent pharmacies out of business, and ripped off taxpayers.”

Listed 5th on the Fortune 500, UnitedHealth Group spans many areas of healthcare. One of the country’s largest health insurers, covering approximately 53 million Americans, UnitedHealth today is also the country’s largest direct employer of physicians, with around 90,000 doctors in its direct employ following a decade of acquisitions of medical practices—including the pending acquisition of home health company Amedisys. Through its healthcare service subsidiary Optum, UnitedHealth owns Optum Rx, one of the main pharmacy benefit managers and mail-order pharmacies. Through these business lines, UnitedHealth also is one of the largest providers of Medicare Advantage plans, administers Medicare Part D drug benefits, and manages Medicaid benefits for state governments.

Over the years, UnitedHealth has leveraged its vast empire to self-deal at the expense of medical professionals and to box out other healthcare industry players using unfair tactics. The DOJ is reportedly examining UnitedHealth’s preferencing of Optum-owned groups in contracting practices, and whether its ownership of healthcare providers has presented unfair barriers to competing insurers, among other concerns.

Learn more about Economic Liberties here.


The American Economic Liberties Project works to ensure America’s system of commerce is structured to advance, rather than undermine, economic liberty, fair commerce, and a secure, inclusive democracy. Economic Liberties believes true economic liberty means entrepreneurs and businesses large and small succeed on the merits of their ideas and hard work; commerce empowers consumers, workers, farmers, and engineers instead of subjecting them to discrimination and abuse from financiers and monopolists; foreign trade arrangements support domestic security and democracy; and wealth is broadly distributed to support equitable political power.