Healthcare

Anthem-Cigna, Aetna-Humana Mergers, Split Regulators

Last week, the California Department of Managed Health Care approved the merger of Aetna and Humana. The move seemed unlikely after a hearing at which DMHC Director Shelley Rouillard expressed skepticism about how the deal could benefit consumers, noting especially Aetna’s history of serial unreasonable rate hikes ($39 million in excessive rates in just 8 months).

Democrats for Consumers or Big Pharma?

Democrats endorsed several November ballot initiatives at this weekend’s meeting of the Democratic Party, but took no position on a measure that would lower drug prices in California.

Drug Companies Fight Cost Controls, But CEOs Top Pay List

The battle for California drug prices is in full swing. An initiative on the November ballot, the California Drug Price Relief Act, would require state agencies to pay the same price as the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) for prescription drugs. The initiative would be a blessing to Californians struggling with out of control drug prices.

Was Health Net-Centene Merger Approval A One-Off, Or Tone-Setting for Anthem, Aetna Deals?

Did California regulators' approval of the Centene and Health Net merger give a preview of how reviews of Anthem's proposed consolidation with Cigna will go down? Let's hope not. Conditions for Health Net were a world away from what regulators will find in the Anthem-Cigna deal. (More on those hearings here.)  
 

Study: CA Prescription Drug Database Can Prevent Drug Overdose Deaths

As mounting evidence and support shows, if California lawmakers want to help end the prescription drug epidemic, they should mandate that doctors use the state's online prescription drug database. The latest evidence in support is a new study from two San Diego doctors.
 

Capitol Watchdog: Upcoming Meetings to Watch

Two Aliso Canyon leak-related bills, one to be heard in the Assembly Natural Resources and the other in Assembly Judiciary, have surfaced. The first would increase the time for anyone adversely affected by the blowout to file a lawsuit and the other asks for a natural gas injection and storage study.

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