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Aetna/Humana Merger Update

A U.S. federal judge blocked the $34 billion merger deal between Aetna and Humana this afternoon, citing antitrust law violations. According to court documents, Judge John Bates of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia expressed concerns that the proposed deal would reduce industry competition.

Aetna is reportedly considering filing an appeal over the ruling, so few think this is the end of the line.

About That Executive Order

Friday night, President Trump issued an Executive Order directing the agencies to waive, defer, grant exemptions from or delay the implementation of any provision or requirement of the ACA that imposes any cost, fee, penalty or regulatory burden on any individual, health care provider, health insurer or purchaser of health insurance (among others).

We don’t have a lot of details to share but we do know that while the order doesn’t change anything immediately, it does send a strong symbolic message. Federal agencies are left to effectuate the order and could use it to stop enforcing the individual mandate. There continues to be a lot of confusion. Expect a lot more of this to come

Please contact Joel Wood at or Joel Kopperud at with any questions.

Time for new habits?

Twenty-four hours, that’s it! We all get the same amount of time each day.

So how do some people make it seem like they get more time than the rest of us? How do they get so much done? The most productive of us have learned to stretch time by determining what is and isn’t important.

In this month’s Fast Company, Stephanie Vozza shares the six things that super-productive people do every day to get the most out of their time.

  1. They have a morning routine. Starting the day in a consistent manner puts you into a proactive mode. Most productive people rise early, commonly between 4:00 – 6:00 a.m. Some begin with exercise, some with mediation, some with planning their day and some with consuming lots of information. The tasks themselves are not as important as just having a morning routine.
  2. They block out time and tackle important tasks first. Do the most difficult task first thing in the morning–some people call this “eating the frog.” They know the difference between important and urgent. Productive people don’t spend the day doing “urgent” things, but they do identify their most important tasks and block out time for them in the morning. Many will protect the first four hours of every day to focus on what is important, before getting sucked up in what is actually urgent.
  3. They maximize the use of their calendar. It’s more productive to schedule your tasks than to put them on a to-do list. Putting them on a schedule increases the likelihood that they will get done.
  4. They look at their day in minutes, not hours. Productive people work in small increments of time, say 10-15 minutes versus 30-60 minutes. Dividing an hour into smaller increments actually multiplies the available time. Some folks even recommend scheduling meetings in three-to-four-minute blocks. Don’t waste any of your precious moments.
  5. They turn off email – Did you know that the average person spends more than seven hours a day checking email? Most people get sucked into constantly responding to messages in their inbox. This takes a tremendous toll on your time. Productive people check their email a couple of times per day. Schedule time on your calendar to check email. Studies show that individuals who check email only three times a day are 20 percent more efficient in responding to their email.
  6. They practice self-care – If you’re not healthy, it’s really hard to be productive. Successful people get ample sleep! The widely recommended 7-8 hours of sleep is shown to be optimal to maintaining your energy and wellness. Studies show that sleep is the most important part of your day. It’s important to go to bed early because every hour that you sleep before midnight is equivalent to sleeping double that after midnight. It’s also important to exercise regularly to keep your brain functioning well.

Read more about the habits of productive people here.

Joel Wood, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs: With executive order, Trump tosses a ‘bomb’ into fragile health insurance markets, Washington Post

John Fielding, Counsel: Trump’s Executive Order On Obamacare Means Everything And Does Nothing, FiveThirtyEight

Michael Kanick, Digital Marketing Strategist: Grassley hasn’t forgotten about prescription drug prices, Axios

Elizabeth McDaid, Senior Vice President, Leadership & Management Resources: Four Seconds by Peter Bregman