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.

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15 mins ago - Sports

Steelers-Titans NFL game delayed after coronavirus outbreak

A worker cleans a handrail at a Tennessee Titans game. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

The NFL announced that Sunday's game between the Tennessee Titans and the Pittsburgh Steelers has been delayed after several Titans players and staffers tested positive for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: It's the league's first game delay caused by a COVID-19 outbreak during the season, which is not taking place in a "bubble," like the NBA and MLS.

Tim Scott says Trump "misspoke" when he told Proud Boys to "stand by"

Photo: Bonnie Cash/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) told reporters on Wednesday that he believes President Trump "misspoke" when he told the far-right "Proud Boys" group to "stand back and stand by" in response to a question about condemning white supremacy at the first presidential debate.

Catch up quick: Moderator Chris Wallace asked Trump on Tuesday, "Are you willing, tonight, to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and to say that they need to stand down?" Trump asked who specifically he should condemn, and then responded, "Proud Boys, stand back and stand by. But I'll tell you what, somebody's got to do something about antifa and the left."

Ina Fried, author of Login
2 hours ago - Technology

Lego, Sesame Workshop back early-learning startup

Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images

A number of leading children's brands, including Lego and Sesame Workshop, are among the investors pouring $50 million into BEGiN, the New York startup behind the early-learning program HOMER.

Why it matters: Thus far, HOMER has focused on reading apps, but with the new funding and partnerships, the company says it will expand to a full early-learning program combining digital, physical and in-person experiences, tapping some of its investors for both content and distribution.