To: Martha Coakley, Attorney General

Block the Partners deal

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Ask Judge Janet Sanders to take action to block the unfair Partners Healthcare takeover of South Shore Hospital and Hallmark Health System, brokered by Attorney General Martha Coakley.

Why is this important?

Despite warnings from the Health Policy Commission and leading health care experts that the merger of Partners HealthCare and South Shore Hospital – as well as Partners’ acquisition of Hallmark Health System – will drive up Massachusetts’ health care costs and hurt competition, Attorney General Martha Coakley approved the deal. Her decision to allow this merger is a disservice to the interests of patients, families, communities, and businesses throughout our state. It permits expansion of Partners’ market dominance in return for timid and unenforceable conditions of conduct.

Furthermore, this deal is the product of secret, closed-door negotiations – a process bound to injure the public’s trust. The lack of an open dialogue involving the people of Massachusetts has denied residents, other health care providers, and employers the chance to voice legitimate and serious objections to this expansion of Partners’ market power.

This is a time when rising health care cost is the most important single obstacle to the ability of businesses in our state to grow and hire workers. In addition, millions of individuals and families across Massachusetts struggle under the cost of care and worry about their continuing access to the providers of their choice. At bottom, the people of Massachusetts simply cannot afford this deal. It will harm the Massachusetts health care system for a decade.

We urge Judge Sanders to reverse Attorney General Coakley’s unwise and imprudent decision. It will cause permanent and irreparable harm to the Massachusetts health care system.