Health Net Inc. agreed to be bought by Medicaid insurer Centene Corp. for $6.8 billion. This merger is one of many fueled by the surge of insured patients due to the Affordable Care Act.
President Obama's signature health law has unleashed the biggest expansion of insurance coverage in half a century, lifting stock prices and revenues across the healthcare industry.
The federal government is expected to spend $1.2 trillion over the next decade on subsidies and other aspects of the health law.
Despite all those gains, some regulators and consumer advocates expressed alarm about this increasing consolidation. They worry that this will create powerful new healthcare giants that will limit the negotiating power of government health programs and employers to hold down prices.
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