There's a murky aspect to the AmeriHealth Mercy $170 million acquisition announced yesterday by Independence Blue Cross and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

The goal, and it seems exciting, is for Independence Blue Cross and Michigan together to ride the AmeriHealth horse into the battle for Medicaid dollars (even though those government dollars might be shrinking as budgets are cut). I'm personally thrilled that a Philadelphia company is making a play in the national arena instead of being bought out, which is our frequent sad scenario. AmeriHealth Mercy has 15 years of  experience in Medicaid and Dan Hilferty, who now heads Independence Blue Cross, used to head AmeriHealth Mercy -- a good credential. Under the current scenario Independence Blue Cross and Mercy Health Systems in Conshohocken each owned half. Under the new, Mercy is out and IBC will own 60 percent, Michigan 40 percent. Read my story about it in Wednesday's Inquirer.