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Anthem fights for Cigna deal in court of public opinion

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Anthem has taken out full-page ads in national newspapers to fight for a chance to complete its proposed acquisition of Cigna Corp.

The Indianapolis-based company has paid for space in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times to get a letter from its chairman, Joseph Swedish, out to “valued customers and supporters.”

Swedish writes in the letter, which appeared in the newspapers today, that company executives were surprised and disappointed by the U.S. Justice Department decision to sue to block the deal.

“This transaction may have lost the battle of a flawed federal regulatory review, but Anthem is fully committed to winning the war to expand access to high-quality, affordable health care for consumers,” Swedish writes.

Completing the deal would give the Anthem-Cigna combination the ability to sell a wider range of products more efficiently, and to achieve the cost savings and quality improvements that the Obama administration, members of Congress, employers and consumers are demanding, Swedish says.

Anthem is offering Affordable Care Act exchange coverage in 14 states this year. Bloomfield, Connecticut-based Cigna is offering exchange coverage in seven states.