HEALTH CHECK

1. It’s Tuesday, August 16, 2016. It’s 84 days until the election.

2. Northwestern’s Jordan Wilimovsky finished fifth this morning in the Olympic event the fewest people would want to take part in: the 10-kilometer men’s open water swim off Copacabana Beach in Rio.

The finish of this race was crazy. About 10 guys finished seconds apart after 6.2 miles in the water. So, while I’m sure Wilimovsky is disappointed about not getting a medal, we Wildcats are proud of this young man.

3. Expecting the Affordable Care Act to work perfectly in its first decade seems unreasonable.

There have been great successes in the two years since implementation: a sharp reduction in the number of uninsured Americans, the end of disqualifying preconditions, free physicals, among other things.

But there are still a few bugs in the system. Today’s decision by Aetna to pull out of hundreds of healthcare exchanges is one. The company says the markets it’s leaving are a drag on its earnings.

Aetna becomes the third company to pull back from the exchanges. Humana, whose acquisition by Aetna is opposed by the Justice Department on antitrust grounds, and United Healthcare have also withdrawn significantly from this key aspect of Obamacare.

Since the enactment of the law, these companies have seen a significant increase in revenue, and their stock prices have surged. There’s something in Obamacare for them. And they need to figure it out, because their actions will just increase the clamor for a single-payer system – which could leave them on the outside looking in.

The Aetna announcement might just be a negotiating ploy with the administration. But with the 2017 sign-up not that far away, playing around with Americans’ health care isn’t a great way to endear yourself to them.

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