The government argues the Aetna-Humana deal would eliminate competition between the insurers in 364 counties in 21 states and likely force seniors to pay higher premiums for Medicare Advantage. (Photo: iStock)

Aetna Inc.’s proposal to salvage its $37 billion takeover of Humana Inc. by selling assets to a smaller company isn’t convincing the Justice Department, which told a federal judge that the remedy poses risks for seniors who depend on Medicare.

The insurer that Aetna wants to sell assets to, Molina Healthcare Inc., is unlikely to replace the competition that would be lost from the merger, Justice Department lawyer Craig Conrath said Monday as a U.S. antitrust trial seeking to block Aetna’s acquisition of Humana kicked off in Washington. 

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