Fighting for Fairness

Human ability to stay flexible under all circumstances is easily the biggest luxury at their disposal. You see, having such a luxury allows us to keep our thought process rather malleable, and that opens up a lot of new horizons. Nevertheless, if we look through the history for a second, we’ll see how humans haven’t always used this ability in a positive way. In fact, on certain occasions, our application of it has been outright unethical. Now, like anyone can guess, when that’s the reality you are playing with, you set the perfect stage for some really harmful consequences, hence to curb the risk emerging from these consequences, the world would put up dedicated regulatory bodies across the board. The move paid off big time, as for the first time ever; we were functioning on a level playing-field. It’s not to say that there were no challenges whatsoever. There were plenty actually, including the numerous posed by technology, but certain recent events do everything to suggest a fair progression within this context, and one such event to do so revolved around UnitedHealth Group.

The Department of Justice has officially filed a lawsuit against UnitedHealth Group to stop its agreed acquisition of Change Healthcare. According to DoJ, the acquisition, if completed, will significantly damage the competition levels in commercial health markets. DoJ’s rationale also takes into account how it will destabilize technology’s wider prospects that appear alongside core insurance procedures. Considering insurers today require advanced setups to process relevant claims and drive down costs, UnitedHealth Group absorbing a major rival can very translate to an almost unhealthy concentration of new-age methodologies, therefore eventually leaving a detrimental impact on the overall insurance landscape.

“The proposed transaction threatens an inflection point in the health care industry by giving United control of a critical data highway through which about half of all Americans’ health insurance claims pass each year,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Doha Mekki, of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division

Following a postponement, UnitedHealth Group planned to complete the $13 billion merger on 27th February 2022, but with the lawsuit hovering, the company has now zeroed upon a new deadline in 5th April 2022.

Optum, a UGH’s subsidiary that is penciled in to take over Change Healthcare’s operations, responded to the suit by saying:

“Change Healthcare and Optum together can increase efficiency and reduce friction in health care, producing a better experience and lower costs. The Department’s deeply flawed position is based on highly speculative theories that do not reflect the realities of the health care system. We will defend our case vigorously.”

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