Will CVS-Aetna Merger Mean Cheaper Health Care?

Will CVS-Aetna Merger Mean Cheaper Health Care?

U.S. consumers stand to benefit from CVS Health's planned purchase of insurance giant Aetna, executives from the two corporations say.

Mental Health Does Not Come With A Manual, It Comes With Friends & Family Support That Never Gives Up!
Join now

Other health care industry observers aren't so sure.

The $69 billion deal was announced Sunday.

Merging CVS, which has 10,000 retail clinics and pharmacies, with Aetna means more health services will likely move out of doctors' offices to store-based providers across the nation.

Pharmacies already provide vaccinations and blood pressure checks. Now, they could offer one-stop shopping for insurance and certain diagnostic services.

On-site lab work and diabetes counseling are two other possibilities, said Larry Merlo, CVS Health president and CEO.

Customers should also expect lower prices, Merlo said.

"We know we can make health care more affordable and less expensive," Merlo told The New York Times. "We think of it as creating a new front door to health care in America."

But others aren't convinced this is a win-win for the general public. Some fear that less competition will drive up drug prices. Others worry that consumers insured by Aetna might be restricted in where they can get health care or fill prescriptions.

Mark Bertolini, Aetna's CEO, said the companies would not raise prices for consumers.

"It doesn't make sense for us to charge people more when we want more people in the store," Bertolini told the Times. "CVS has the draw. People trust their pharmacist," he added.

But some critics predict the merger will run afoul of federal antitrust officials.

David Balto, an antitrust lawyer, told the Times that doctors may be in a better position to treat illness than retail executives.

"Who do you want to run the health care system?" he said.

Others, however, say there is no conflict since CVS and Aetna aren't in the same line of business.

The Internet's Most Trusted Source For Mental Health Information
Sign up

The mammoth sale comes amid a rocky period in the U.S. health care landscape. Provisions of the Affordable Care Act remain in jeopardy, and potential tax cuts debated in Congress could affect out-of-pocket spending on insurance, drugs and medical care.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can help you prepare for a doctor's visit.


Copyright © 2013-2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.


Related Content

Freedom From OCD: An Original Series on Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Freedom From OCD: An Original Series on Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

It is estimated over 1.2% of the adult population wrestles with Obsessive-Compul...

Read more
Freedom From OCD - Official Trailer
Freedom From OCD - Official Trailer

An original 6-episode series on obsessive-compulsive disorder, available instant...

Read more
A Young Mother's Addiction Led To Death & Her Obituary Struck An International Chord
A Young Mother's Addiction Led To Death & Her Obituary Struck An International Chord

Madelyn Ellen Linsenmeir died on Sunday, October 7. While her death was unexpect...

Read more
Why Are Children In Class Being Wrongly Labelled As Having ADHD So Frequently?
Why Are Children In Class Being Wrongly Labelled As Having ADHD So Frequently?

Parents worried about their child falling behind academically because they are b...

Read more
The Real Causes Of Anxiety & Depression Might Not Be What You Think
The Real Causes Of Anxiety & Depression Might Not Be What You Think

Across the Western world today, if you are depressed or anxious and you go to yo...

Read more
Companies Are Opening Their Doors To Talent With Autism
Companies Are Opening Their Doors To Talent With Autism

Twenty-seven-year-old Christopher Pauley thought he had it all figured out when ...

Read more