Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for December 4th, 2017

CVS to Buy Aetna in $69 Billion Deal

leave a comment »

CVS Health said on Sunday that it had agreed to buy Aetna for about $69 billion, in a deal that would combine the drugstore with one of the biggest health insurers in the United States, according to a report from The New York Times.

The merger comes at a time of turbulent transformation in health care. Insurers, hospitals and pharmacy companies are bracing for a possible disruption in government programs like Medicare as a result of the Republicans’ plan to cut taxes. Congress remains at an impasse over the future of the Affordable Care Act, while employers and consumers are struggling under the weight of rising medical costs, including the soaring price of prescription drugs. And rapid changes in technology have raised the specter of new competitors — most notably Amazon. A combined CVS-Aetna could position itself as a formidable figure in this changing landscape. Together, the companies touch most of the basic health services that people regularly use, providing an opportunity to benefit consumers. CVS operates a chain of pharmacies and retail clinics that could be used by Aetna to provide care directly to patients, while the merged company could be better able to offer employers one-stop shopping for health insurance for their workers.
– via www.nytimes.com

 

But as the Times goes on to observe, critics worry customers could find their healthcare choices sharply limited (i.e., less choice of where to fill a prescription or get care if so many roads lead through a combined CVS/Aetna.

But in the announcement, the companies pointed out clear synergies that would benefit patients:

the two companies emphasized their ability to transform CVS’s 10,000 pharmacy and clinic locations into community-based sites of care that would be far less expensive for patients. “We think of it as creating a new front door to health care in America,” CVS Health’s chief executive, Larry J. Merlo, said in an interview. The merger would establish a new way of delivering care, with nurses, pharmacists and others available to counsel people about their diabetes or do the lab work necessary to diagnose a condition, Mr. Merlo said. “We know we can make health care more affordable and less expensive.”
– via www.nytimes.com

Looming in the background, the Times observes, a lingering Amazon and Jeff Bezos, rumored to be preparing for an entry into the pharmacy business.

As to antitrust considerations, both companies played down the prospect of regulation, arguing that the takeover is a “vertical merger” combining companies in two different industries.

Written by turbotodd

December 4, 2017 at 9:21 am

Tiger’s Back

leave a comment »

Happy Monday.

It certainly is if you’re a golf fan, and a Tiger Woods fan in particular.

Woods returned to tournament golf for the first time in 300+ days, and after his fourth back surgery back in April of this year, as well as a DUI arrest in May.

Woods’ fans had much to be encouraged by. He turned in a respectable nine under for his own Hero World Challenge tournament in Albany, Bahamas, and was said to be regularly hitting drives 300+ yards (i.e., no back issues were holding back his power).

His long irons were pretty accurate, and his putting aggressive. Not unlike most amateurs, his touch around the greens pitching and chipping was rough around the edges, but even there Tiger turned in some beautiful shots.

Whether or not he’ll be able to keep it up, and whether or not his back will hold up, time will tell. But it was nice to see some of the old Tiger playing among this new generation of golfers, many of whom he inspired to take up the game.

Written by turbotodd

December 4, 2017 at 9:07 am

Posted in 2017, golf, pga tour, tiger woods

%d bloggers like this: