Assemblymember Cahill Releases Statement Concerning CVS’ Plans to Buy Aetna: Calls On State DOH and DFS to Scrutinize the Deal

December 4, 2017

“Reports of the acquisition of one of the largest health insurers in the nation by CVS, the drug store and pharmacy benefits management conglomerate, while significant federal hurdles have to be overcome, should be carefully reviewed by both the New York State Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Financial Services (DFS),” said Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Insurance.

“Not only are each of these entities already significant players in their fields, extreme caution must be exercised before merging for profit health insurance companies with for profit health providers is even considered in our State,” he added.

“CVS has been leading the lobbying effort to legalize so-called “minute clinics” in New York State, in direct competition with private practice doctors and not for profit health clinics. We have already seen the way prescription business has been steered to this giant entity, often at the expense of the neighborhood pharmacy. From the early reports, a significant aspect of CVS’s plan as part of this Aetna takeover is to steer even more health care to their business entities, including these toward these for profit clinics,” said Chairman Cahill.

Assemblyman Cahill has been a leading opponent of the conversion of health care to for profit shareholder owned entities. “New York has a long tradition of professional and non-profit healthcare. The jury is still out on whether the conversion of health plans has been in the best interests of consumers. Families whose claims are denied in the name of the bottom line may have already concluded differently. DOH and DFS need to step up to protect New Yorkers from the even further erosion of their health care,” Mr. Cahill concluded.