What We're Reading: Aetna on Single-Payer; Bipartisan Health Talks; WHO Candidate Accusations

Aetna CEO Open to Single-Payer Discussions

Last week, Aetna made the decision to exit all Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges in 2018; this week, its CEO is considering another way to deliver health insurance in the United States. During an investor conference, Mark Bertolini said he is interested in discussing what a single-payer system might look like in the US, according to Reuters. However, he doesn’t think the federal government should run such a system based on the failures of the ACA.

Bipartisan Talks on ACA Reforms

The Senate could churn out a bipartisan bill that addresses issues of the ACA. According to Politico, there have been informal talks between Republicans and Democrats about a Plan B in case Republicans can’t agree on repeal. Republicans who have been open to speaking with the opposing party include Susan Collins, R-Maine; Bill Cassidy, R-Louisiana; and Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina. Senators Tim Kaine, D-Virginia; Tom Carper, D-Delaware; Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia; and Heidi Heitkamp, D-North Dakota, have also spoken briefly with Republicans about healthcare.

Did WHO Candidate Cover Up His Country’s Epidemics?

A candidate in the running for director general of the World Health Organization (WHO) has been accused of covering up epidemics in his country. A rival candidate’s campaign has accused Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of covering up 3 cholera epidemics in Ethiopia when he was health minister, reported The New York Times. The world’s health ministers will meet in Geneva the week of May 22 and while there they will vote for the next director general of the WHO. Earlier outbreaks in 2006, 2009, and 2011 in Ethiopia were reported as just “acute watery diarrhea” and news organizations reported that aid agencies were pressured to avoid using the word “cholera.”