Five state AGs favor CVS-Aetna merger

Initial opposition switched after sale of Aetna's Part D plans

Five attorneys general are urging the federal judge presiding over a hearing next month on the merger between CVS Health and Aetna to let the deal go through

The AMA and other groups are opposing CVS Health's $70 billion purchase of Aetna. The attorneys general in favor of it represent California, Florida, Hawaii, Mississippi, and Washington. 

Those five states initially opposed the merger, according to Healthcare Dive, but switched their position after Aetna sold off its Medicare Part D businesses to a Wellcare subsidiary. 

In March, Centene announced its intention to acquire Wellcare. The American Hospital Association has asked the Department of Justice to review that deal because, in the AHA's view, it would reduce competition in the Medicaid managed care and Medicare Advantage markets.

The department approved the CVS-Aetna acquisition last fall after the Plan D business were sold. But in what the Wall Street Journal described as a "highly unusual move," Judge Richard J. Leon of the U.S. District Court for Washington, D.C., said he wanted to review the deal and the settlement with the Justice Department that gave it the go-ahead.

The hearing before Leon is scheduled to start June 4 and may last several days.