Tim Kaine appeared on this morning’s episode of NBC’s Meet the Press. During an interview with Chuck Todd, Kaine spoke about a number of issues including Hillary Clinton’s thoughts on the Trans Pacific Partnership and the future of trade, some of the content of emails leaked by WikiLeaks, and the proposed merger between telecom giant AT&T and Time Warner. Kaine suggested that a Clinton administration would be skeptical of the merger. Several politicians have expressed their concern about the consolidation of various types of media. Kaine said, “I share those concerns and questions. We’ve got to get to the bottom of them. Less concentration I think is generally helpful, especially in the media.” Watch a video of the interview below.
On Wednesday, Hillary Rodham Clinton released a statement opposing the proposed mergers of proposed mergers between Anthem and Cigna and of Aetna and Humana. Clinton has been supportive of the Affordable Care Act because it gives consumers more choice, but mergers ensure less choice and less competition. The full statement from Clinton is below:
As we see more consolidation in health care, among both providers and insurers, I’m worried that the balance of power is moving too far away from consumers.
I have serious concerns about the proposed mergers between Anthem and Cigna, and between Aetna and Humana. One could raise market concentration in New Hampshire to excessive levels, and both have concerning effects on competition in other markets. These mergers should be scrutinized very closely with an eye to preventing the undue concentration that they appear to create. I am very skeptical of the claim that consumers will benefit from them because the evidence from careful studies shows that too often the companies end up pocketing profits rather than passing savings to consumers. These companies should commit to passing on savings and efficiencies to consumers as lower premiums and out-of-pocket costs.
I strongly support delivery system reforms and care coordination that drive innovation, value and quality at an affordable cost for Americans and that improve transparency about prices – but companies proposing to merge bear the heavy burden of demonstrating that consumers will benefit. As president, I would strengthen the antitrust enforcement arms of the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission and appoint aggressive regulators to take on troubling concentration wherever it occurs in the health care industry, among other sectors. That’s a pro-competition approach that is good for businesses large and small who want to compete on a level playing field and for consumers who should gain more choices.