UnitedHealth Has Little to Lose if Change Healthcare Deal Fails

With UnitedHealth Group poised to battle the U.S. Dept. of Justice in court over the fate of its proposed purchase of Change Healthcare, Inc., there’s still a host of unknowns about how that legal case will play out. However, one thing does appear to be clear to industry observers: UnitedHealth will be just fine no matter how the fight to salvage its transaction plays out.

In the credit rating world, “if the deal is ultimately stopped by the DOJ, it would be credit positive for UnitedHealth” because it would require the company to take on less debt, “but long-term growth prospects would be incrementally diminished,” Moody’s Investors Service wrote in a Feb. 28 report.

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Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been working in journalism since 2009 and reporting on the health care industry since 2014. She has covered the many ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failed health insurer mega-mergers, and hundreds of other storylines spanning subjects such as Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, employer-sponsored insurance, and prescription drug coverage. As the managing editor of Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits, she writes and edits for both publications while overseeing a small team of reporters who also focus on the managed care sector. Before joining AIS Health, she was a senior editor for the e-newsletter Fierce Health Payer, and she started her career as a copy editor at multiple local newspapers. She graduated with a dual degree in journalism and political science from Penn State University.

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