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Aetna to buy Humana for $35 billion

Aetna to buy Humana for $35 billion

Aetna will spend about $35 billion to buy rival Humana and become the latest health insurer bulking up on government business as the industry adjusts to the federal healthcare overhaul. The proposed cash-and-stock deal, announced early Friday, would make Aetna a sizable player in the rapidly growing Medicare Advantage business, which offers privately run versions of the federally funded healthcare program for the elderly and some people with disabilities. Humana has nearly 3.2 million people enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans, a total that falls just sort of market leader UnitedHealth Group Inc. The combination also would bolster Aetna's presence in the state- and federally...