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Jessica Hill / AP

Aetna announced this morning that its fourth-quarter profit dropped 57%, to $139 million. Most of the drop in profit was tied to an early retirement program Aetna offered last fall as a way to slash costs. The Obamacare exchanges dragged down its overall profitability, but Aetna's government programs, specifically Medicare, continue to rake in taxpayer-funded cash. Aetna's total revenue in 2016 was $63.2 billion, a 4.7% jump from 2015.

Why it matters: Even though Aetna's net profit shrank in the fourth quarter, analysts thought it could've been worse for the health insurance giant.

The bigger issue is figuring out what to do now that its proposed acquisition of Humana was struck down. Aetna continues to say it is considering an appeal, but it gave 2017 guidance as if it were a "stand-alone" company.

Some interesting Obamacare figures: Aetna had to pay $690 million into the Affordable Care Act's risk adjustment program, which is used to help out insurers that had the most expensive customers in the marketplaces. The insurer also expects to receive $465 million under the risk corridor program, based on results from 2014 through 2016. Aetna bailed on most of the exchanges, not because they weren't profitable, but because Aetna was trying to get approval for its Humana deal.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries — Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca vaccine.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

DOJ: Capitol rioter threatened to "assassinate" Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Supporters of former President Trump storm the U.S. Captiol on Jan. 6. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A Texas man who has been charged with storming the U.S. Capitol in the deadly Jan. 6 siege posted death threats against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the Department of Justice said.

The big picture: Garret Miller faces five charges in connection to the riot by supporters of former President Trump, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and making threats. According to court documents, Miller posted violent threats online the day of the siege, including tweeting “Assassinate AOC.”

Schumer calls for IG probe into alleged plan by Trump, DOJ lawyer to oust acting AG

Jeffrey Clark speaks next to Deputy US Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen at a news conference in October. Photo: Yuri Gripas/AFP via Getty Images.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Saturday called for the Justice Department inspector general to investigate an alleged plan by former President Trump and a DOJ lawyer to remove the acting attorney general and replace him with someone more willing to investigate unfounded claims of election fraud.

Driving the news: The New York Times first reported Friday that the lawyer, Jeffrey Clark, allegedly devised "ways to cast doubt on the election results and to bolster Mr. Trump’s continuing legal battles and the pressure on Georgia politicians. Because Mr. [Jeffrey] Rosen had refused the president’s entreaties to carry out those plans, Mr. Trump was about to decide whether to fire Mr. Rosen and replace him with Mr. Clark."