The best way to guarantee profits over the long term is to look for trends that are likely to continue, and then identify those companies best positioned to profit from them.

Whatever happens in the coming decades, we know that a sizable number of Americans are aging. Baby boomers already collecting social security and others are spending more money on healthcare, and the insurers with well-established brand names are in a great position to rack up steady profits for years.

Healthcare should occupy a significant portion of your long-term growth portfolio. One of the best companies in this sector is Aetna (AET) . The company has strong relationships with lots of big employers -- which are still where most Americans get their health care coverage -- and is well-positioned for continued growth.

Aetna is attempting to merge with Humana (HUM - Get Report) . If that deal goes through, it will create a true juggernaut in the industry.

To be sure, Aetna's stock price has dropped in recent weeks, partly over concerns that the merger will be blocked by regulators. The Missouri Department of Insurance recently moved to stop the merger, saying the new entity would have too much power to raise rates.

Missouri is the first state to release findings against the $33 billion deal.

But 15 other states have already approved it. The Connecticut Department of Insurance found that the merger would not adversely affect competition in that state. With so much money to be made, Aetna's lawyers should be able to make some minor changes to win approval from doubtful regulators.

Many experts believe that the future of healthcare insurance belongs to those who can manage the enormous amount of data regarding treatment and outcomes. Aetna has been innovative in this area, using its existing database of millions of health care customers to target new markets. The merger with Humana will only enhance that strength.

This would also give Aetna a decisive advantage over competitors such as Cigna, and increase the likelihood of profitability for years to come.

The merger will bring together Humana's growing Medicare Advantage business with Aetna's diversified portfolio and commercial capabilities to create the second-largest managed care company in the United States.

Of course, the healthcare industry has reached an uncertain stage following the passage of Obamacare. That's particularly the case in this Presidential election year. 

The program will stay if Hillary Clinton wins the presidency. But if Donald J. Trump wins, there may be changes, more likely over the long term, but changes nonetheless. 

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This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.