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Aetna told DOJ it would drop Obamacare if Humana merger is blocked

DOJ sues to block healthcare mergers

Aetna said this week that it was curtailing its presence on the Obamacare exchanges to stem mounting financial losses.

Last month, the company told the Department of Justice that it would probably be forced to withdraw from Obamacare altogether if the agency blocks its pending merger with Humana (HUM) over antitrust concerns.

"[W]e believe it is very likely that we would need to leave the public exchange business entirely and plan for additional business efficiencies should our deal ultimately be blocked," Aetna (AET) CEO Mark Bertolini wrote in a July 5 letter.

The letter was obtained by the Huffington Post followinga Freedom of Information Act request.

Aetna's announcement that it would withdraw from 11 of 15 states next year amid $430 million in losses heightened concerns about Obamacare's financial viability. UnitedHealthcare (UNH) and Humana are also minimizing their presence on the exchanges after recording big losses.

But the pullbacks also come as two pairs of major...