Michael Strazzella, shareholder and practice group leader in the Federal Government Relations group, and Dale Webber, shareholder and chair of the firm's Healthcare section, discuss the future of healthcare mergers under a possible Biden administration in the Modern Healthcare article "Biden, Trump offer distinct healthcare agendas that leave some questions unanswered."
Biden says his administration would aggressively use antitrust authority to tackle market consolidation in healthcare and scrutinize future acquisitions based on impacts on labor markets, low-income communities and racial equity in addition to prices and competition.
“In regards to ability to get a deal completed, with the way they have talked about antitrust, for sure the lens the Biden administration would view market concentration with will make it significantly more difficult to get certain deals completed,” said Michael Strazzella, federal government relations practice group leader at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney.
However, states still have significant discretion over which deals are approved. For example, vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) had a history of cracking down on healthcare mergers during her time as California’s attorney general. Dale Webber, an attorney and chair of the healthcare section at Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney, said it’s important not to overlook states’ roles, and that many healthcare mergers have happened in states with Democratic attorneys general.
The Trump administration has also been tough on some healthcare mergers, and forced DaVita, Bristol-Myers Squibb and CVS to make divestitures to get their acquisition deals approved.