Jul 18, 2017

UnitedHealth's second-quarter profits boom

J. Pat Carter / AP

UnitedHealth Group soundly blew past Wall Street's second-quarter financial expectations. Profit in the quarter jumped 34% year over year to nearly $2.4 billion, and revenue increased 8% to $50 billion, the company announced in today's earnings report. Executives were most excited about the Medicare Advantage business — which just extended its lucrative branding deal with AARP and is UnitedHealth's largest individual insurance segment, but also faces fraud allegations.

Between the lines: Expect similarly robust results from other large health insurers. Fewer people are going to the hospital or filling their drug prescriptions, which means more money stays in the pocket of insurers like UnitedHealth. But that's not necessarily translating to lower insurance premiums.

Go deeper: UnitedHealth is just as much a services company through Optum as it is an insurer. Its tentacles could stretch even further over the health care system if it acquires Advisory Board Company, a consulting firm that works a lot with hospitals.

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Mass shooting in Milwaukee: What we know

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in 2012. Photo: John Gress/Corbis via Getty Images

Six people died in a shooting at the Molson Coors Brewing Company in Milwaukee on Wednesday, including the gunman, Mayor Tom Barrett told reporters at a Wednesday evening press conference with local police.

Details: All of the victims worked at the brewery complex, as did the shooter who died of "an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound," police confirmed in a statement late Wednesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 23 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus updates: South Korea case count tops 2,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

33 people in California have tested positive for the coronavirus, and health officials are monitoring 8,400 people who have recently returned from "points of concern," Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,850 people and infected over 83,000 others in some 50 countries and territories. The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica, and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health

Syria's darkest chapter

Family room without a family, in Idlib. Photo: Muhammed Said/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The worst humanitarian crisis of Syria’s brutal civil war is colliding today with what could be the war’s most dangerous geopolitical showdown, after at least 29 Turkish troops were killed in an airstrike.

The big picture: The fighting is taking place in Idlib in northwest Syria, where a ferocious Syrian and Russian offensive has displaced 1 million civilians and infuriated Turkey, which borders the region.

Go deeperArrow3 hours ago - World