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The Apple Watch Series 4. Photo: James D. Morgan/Getty Images

Apple’s steady march into consumer health care continues: It’s partnering with Aetna to fold Apple Watches and iPhones into the insurer’s wellness programs, CNBC’s Christina Farr reports.

The big picture: Apple’s health care goals seem clear, and it has picked its spots at least as well as any other tech company looking for a slice of the health care system. It’s focused squarely on patient data, and on partnerships with big, established players.

  • Apple’s foray into electronic medical records has gotten mostly good reviews, and the company has pursued a potential deal to help the VA modernize its records.
  • Since introducing some heart-monitoring capabilities for Apple Watch last year, Apple has embraced several partnerships to get its watches around more wrists. One tests the watch as a health monitor for people who have had hip or knee replacements.
  • Apple also wants private Medicare Advantage plans to offer subsidized watches to their members, to use as health monitors.
  • That’s roughly the same proposition in Apple and Aetna’s new partnership: Aetna customers could use their existing Apple Watch, or Aetna would give them one and they’d "pay it off" by meeting health goals. Or, if they fall short of those goals, they might have to pay it off with real money, per CNBC.

Be smart: None of this seems likely to revolutionize the health care system, but no company has much of a plan to revolutionize the health care system. Apple, unlike some of its competitors, at least has a clear path to profiting from that system.

Go deeper: Health is Apple's next really big thing

Go deeper

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Political consultants pocket taxpayer cash

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Members of Congress are turning to the same political consultants who got them elected to blast out taxpayer-funded communications from their government offices, records show.

Why it matters: While those members are barred from politicking with official funds, the firms have expertise in boosting elected officials' images for political gain and are in high demand for both campaign and government work.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Transplants rebound from COVID lull
  2. Vaccines: WHO: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America
  3. Politics: Government website for free COVID tests launches early
  4. World: Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older
  5. Variant tracker
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Schumer pushes for doomed filibuster changes

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer addresses reporters Tuesday. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told the Democratic caucus Tuesday night he plans to propose instituting a one-time "talking" filibuster requirement, and bypassing the 60-vote threshold for major legislation, to pass the party's election reforms package via simple majority.

Why it matters: While Schumer acknowledged both votes are expected to fail — and some vulnerable Democrats up for re-election feel it will put them in a tough spot — he argued it's worth putting members on the record for historic legislation.