Allina is buying the health insurance giant Aetna for $85.6 billion in cash and stock.
Allina acquired AetneHealth in 2015, but that deal didn’t go through due to concerns about a number of things, including that Aetner would merge with the healthcare giant Anthem and then cut off access to its customers.
The deal to buy Aetannas health plan is subject to antitrust review by the Justice Department, but President Donald Trump has called the deal a “once in a generation opportunity.”
“This merger will make America stronger, more affordable, and will strengthen America’s health care system,” Trump said in a statement on January 23.
“We will be the nation’s largest employer of nurses, doctors, and other health care professionals, and we will have a strong workforce that is fully capable of supporting our people.”
Aetnan’s chief executive officer, Robert A. Aetlin, is a vocal advocate for health care.
“I have seen firsthand the importance of a quality, affordable, accessible health care, and I believe that AETAN will help us achieve this goal,” Aetran said in an emailed statement to The American Banker in response to the deal.
Allinna is one of the biggest companies in health care with over 10,000 employees, and the company was one of Trump’s top picks for secretary of health and human services.
It also has been the target of lawsuits in recent years from the states of New York, California and Minnesota over claims of unfair treatment by the company.
A number of insurers have also pulled out of the insurance markets for some time due to the Affordable Care Act.