No Wit, Sherlock

By: Dexter Braff

We’ve all seen those brilliant pronouncements.

You know, the ones that seem like they could come from Neil deGrasse Tyson, only to realize that they just as easily could have come from Mike Tyson – with a mouthful of ear.

To wit (say that fast for an alternative interpretation):

Judge Blocks Aetna-Humana Merger for Being Anti-Competitive


In a health care market where providers already feel like they have as much leverage in negotiating with insurance companies as Alec Baldwin has scoring an invite to the White House, who would think that merging two of the biggest insurers in America to create the largest seller of Medicare Advantage plans would be anti-competitive?

Somebody call Captain Obvious.

In a related story, we learn that if the companies cannot resolve these issues to the satisfaction of the courts, that Aetna could be on the hook to pay Humana a breakup fee of a billion dollars.

Yeah, that’s a billion with a B.

Now we guess that in order to cajole Humana’s board to go through the financial colonoscopy necessary to get a deal of this magnitude across the finish line that Aetna had to pony up a cool billion.

But a contingency on anti-trust approval?

We get a financing contingency.  Or a last minute change of heart by the Aetna BODs.

But anti-trust?

So, if the deal stays dead and you read of a shareholder lawsuit?

Say it with me.

No Wit, Sherlock.


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