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House GOP plans health care bill showdown next week

WASHINGTON — House GOP leaders hope to have another showdown over their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act next week, but the legislation may still lack the votes it needs for approval. And Democrats like Sen. Chris Murphy, who called it “a piece of garbage,” said changes aimed at broadening support for the bill have only made the legislation worse. Continue Reading →

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AMA ‘alarmed’ political influence could sway DOJ on Anthem-Cigna merger

This is a picture of the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield logo at the company's Wallingford headquarters

Updated at 6:25 p.m.
WASHINGTON — The American Medical Association, says it is “alarmed” Anthem may be taking advantage of changes in leadership in the Justice Department that would “bend antitrust laws” and result in a settlement of the federal case that has blocked its merger with Cigna. Continue Reading →

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AMA says Anthem-Cigna deal would shrink insurer choices in CT

WASHINGTON — The American Medical Association, strongly opposed to the merger of Anthem and Cigna, said the deal would greatly limit competition in Connecticut and nine other states, leading to premium increases and fewer choices of doctors and hospitals for the state’s patients. Continue Reading →

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Short week for Congress yields defense funding, railroad revival

The U.S. House of Representatives was out and the Senate had a shortened work week because of the Veterans Day holiday, but there was still plenty of activity in Congress. The Senate approved a final defense bill that authorizes billions of dollars in spending on weapon systems developed in Connecticut. The Federal Railroad Administration took a big step forward on an ambitious overhaul of the rail system in the Northeast Corridor. Continue Reading →

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AMA asks Justice Department to block Aetna-Humana, Anthem-Cigna mergers

WASHINGTON – Saying it would end competition in key markets and erode patient care, the American Medical Association has asked the Justice Department to quash the proposed mergers between insurance giants Aetna and Humana and Anthem and Cigna. Continue Reading →

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This Week in Washington

Congress moved at the 11th hour to avert a government shutdown, but it’s only a short-term fix — with a new budget deadline of Dec. 11. Access Health CT CEO James Wadleigh defended the operations of Connecticut’s health exchange to skeptical GOP lawmakers. Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini’s plans to merge with Humana were also scrutinized by a House panel this week. Continue Reading →

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Aetna-Humana, Anthem-Cigna mergers spark D.C. lobbying war

WASHINGTON — With high stakes in play, Aetna, Inc. has hired four high-powered Washington lobbying firms to help the company win federal approval of a merger with Humana. Cigna followed by hiring three D.C. lobbying firms this week to press its case to merge with Anthem. Continue Reading →

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