FTC Must Stop UnitedHealth-Change Healthcare Merger
Washington, D.C. – The American Economic Liberties Project released the following statement in response to a recent announcement made by UnitedHealth Group, the largest health insurer in the United States, that it plans to acquire Change Healthcare, one of the nation’s largest physician reimbursement platforms, in a deal that amounts to $13 billion.
“The Federal Trade Commission should act immediately to stop UnitedHealth’s bid to acquire Change Healthcare,” said Olivia Webb, a policy analyst at the American Economic Liberties Project. “Physician reimbursement companies make money by skimming doctors’ paychecks. By acquiring Change Healthcare, UnitedHealth will increase its market power and healthcare costs.”
“Change Healthcare probably should not exist,” added Webb. “Owned in great part by Blackstone and McKesson, a notorious health care monopolist, Change Healthcare does nothing to improve the quality of or access to health care, and almost certainly increases American health care costs. But if Change Healthcare is to continue to exist, it should not be deployed by a major insurer so that that insurer can redirect doctor’s reimbursement checks back to itself.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has already decimated smaller health care entities, from independent physicians to community hospitals,” said Webb. “If this acquisition is allowed to proceed, it will serve only to stack the deck further against community health care providers and compound the ongoing inequity that now characterizes our health care system.”
Economic Liberties 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.