Nov. 17--Aetna wants to depose Andy Slavitt, the former United Healthgroup executive who's acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, in an effort to help its case against the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice sued Aetna earlier this year, hoping to stop Aetna's proposed $34 billion purchase of Humana.
The department has asked the judge to deny the request.
"Depositions of senior government officials interfere with government functions," the Justice Department wrote in a brief filed late Tuesday. They said Slavitt's deposition would only be allowed under exceptional circumstances -- if he has unique firsthand knowledge related to the litigation.
Aetna wants to buy Humana to bolster its position in Medicare Advantage, a form of Medicare that is sold and administered by private insurance companies. Before divestitures, a combined Aetna and Humana would have 25 percent of Medicare Advantage customers. In August, Aetna said it would sell plans that cover about 290,000 people in 21 states, but that wasn't enough to convince antitrust regulators to settle the case.
Medicare Advantage is the fastest growing segment of insurance as baby boomers turn 65.
Aetna has sworn depositions from other Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrators and Kevin Counihan, who was picked to manage Obamacare's health insurance exchanges after successfully launching Connecticut's health care exchange.
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