May 12, 2017

Aetna CEO encourages single-payer debate

Jacquelyn Martin / AP

Vox obtained video of an Aetna company meeting, where CEO Mark Bertolini said this when asked if the Republican health care bill would lead to a single-payer system:

"Single-payer, I think we should have that debate as a nation." — Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini

What this means: Bertolini certainly wasn't advocating for a traditional single-payer system, in which everyone has health coverage like Medicare, the system is funded through taxes, and the federal government operates as the sole financing agent. Private health insurers would basically be eliminated in that scenario, so Bertolini isn't looking to put himself out of a job.

However, the Vox video makes it clear that Bertolini is willing to debate a system where taxpayers fund most if not everything, and then private insurers run the operations — kind of like Medicare Advantage, a major (and profitable) program for Aetna. In fact, last year, Bertolini said Medicare Advantage was "the solution to entitlement reform around health benefits" at a Wall Street conference.

Go deeper

The latest: George Floyd protests nationwide

Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators outside of the White House on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued for a seventh day across the U.S., with President Trump threatening on Monday to deploy the military if the unrest continues.

The latest: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told CNN on the president's quasi-offer: "Thank you but no thank you," and accused Trump of "calling out the American military for a photo opportunity."

1 hour ago - World

The world watches America burn

Newspaper front pages via the Newseum

The world is watching the grief and anger, violence and pain in America's streets.

The big picture: The U.S. accounts for nearly one-third of the world's deaths from COVID-19. The killing of a black man, George Floyd, by police has sparked days of protest and nights of chaos in America's major cities.

Trump walks to historic St. John's Church outside White House as protests rage

President Trump walked to the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church, located just steps away from the White House across Lafayette Park, on Monday night as protests linked to the murder of George Floyd raged across the capital and cities around the country.

What we're seeing: Military police and park rangers used physical force and tear gas on peaceful protestors to clear the area so that Trump could "pay respects" to the church that was damaged by a fire on Sunday.