President-elect Donald Trump has promised to eliminate government regulations of business, which could affect how his administration tackles issues of consolidation among health insurers and hospitals.
The New York Times reports Trump could have an immediate effect on two insurance mergers that will be contested in courts over the next few weeks. While decisions on the Anthem-Cigna and Aetna-Humana deals are likely to come before Trump takes office Jan. 20, 2017, his administration could opt for a lighter settlement deal if the insurers lose and then appeal or drop the case entirely if the U.S. Department of Justice should lose.
There’s also the possibility very little could change.
“There is a history of bipartisan support for antitrust enforcement in health care,” Leslie C. Overton, a partner at Alston & Bird and a former Justice Department official, said to the Times. “I don’t think we should expect a wholesale shift, based on the change from Democratic to Republican.”
Fighting hospital consolidation has been the job of the Federal Trade Commission, which is less likely to shift strategy no matter who is in the White House.
No matter where Trump’s priorities are, experts say the consolidation trend in healthcare will continue. Click below to find out how a repeal of the Affordable Care Act may accelerate those mergers and acquisitions.