Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini is no stranger to navigating America's complex health care system. In 2001, his son Eric was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and he was left fighting for his son's life with no clear guidance from his insurer or health providers.
"Given all the economic power I had and political connections I had, there wasn't a cure to be bought more or less," Bertolini explained. "What I was told was he had six months and no one had ever survived his cancer."
Fortunately, his son did survive his illness, but the experience has since shaped how Bertolini runs the third largest health insurer in the U.S.
"What I learned through that experience was that the health care system is not very connected," said Bertolini. "We were the connection. We were the advocates."