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Medicare

Feds say health mergers would increase costs, threaten care

The U.S. government is suing to stop two major health insurance mergers, a move regulators say is needed to protect Americans from potential cost hikes and lower quality care.

The Department of Justice said Thursday that the combinations of Aetna and Humana and Anthem and Cigna would hurt competition that restrains the price of coverage and reduce benefits, among other drawbacks.

Aetna Inc. proposed last summer to buy Humana Inc. for $34 billion, while Anthem Inc. moved to acquire Cigna Corp. for $48 billion. The companies said Thursday they plan to fight the federal suit. Anthem, the Blue Cross-Blue Shield insurer, called it "an unfortunate and misguided" step...

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