If you’ve ever watched The View, you know that every show starts off with Hot Topics, where the hosts (whoever's left of them) discuss the latest hot news items. No doubt today’s show will address Margaret Thatcher and while they’re on the topic of “death”, probably last night’s Mad Men.
If there’s any time left on the show, we’d like to suggest a couple other very hot news items (at least in our world) that definitely need discussing!The U.S. House Intelligence Committee apparently had a committee staff call briefing with Congress’ paymasters, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, telling the Chamber that it’s set to pass the highly-controversial cybersecurity bill that not only violates the privacy rights of everyday people (the ACLU calls it a “privacy disaster), it also immunizes big corporations that engage in this behavior. Writes Bloomberg,
Many of the House bill’s corporate supporters are among the top 20 contributors to [Committee Chair Mike] Rogers’ 2011-2012 campaign committee, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based research group. They include AT&T, Verizon Communications Inc., Boeing and Lockheed Martin Corp. employees and their families.
[Ranking Democrat C.A. “Dutch”] Ruppersberger’s top contributors in the same period also include Boeing and Lockheed employees and their families, according to the center.
The American Civil Liberties Union and other advocacy groups have stoked online opposition to the House bill, saying it would allow Americans’ personal data to be shared with the National Security Agency and the military, and let the government use that data for undefined “national security” purposes.
Meanwhile, there’s a medical malpractice case out of Nevada that medical malpractice and insurance expert, Professor Tom Baker at University of Pennsylvania Law School called a possible “sea change” for managed care companies. Specially,
A Nevada jury on Thursday found Nevada affiliates of UnitedHealth Group Inc responsible for infecting two patients with hepatitis C, a disease that attacks the liver. The patients claimed they became infected because their gastroenterologist used allegedly unsafe injection practices for an endoscopy. The third plaintiff was the spouse of one of the patients.
Typically in medical malpractice cases, plaintiffs can only recover damages from the doctor and the hospital. But in the Nevada lawsuit, the plaintiffs argued that UnitedHealth Group should be held responsible because the accused gastroenterologist was part of the company's network and that the insurer should have known about allegedly unsafe practices.
If the plaintiffs' theory of liability is upheld on appeal and adopted elsewhere, it would represent a major change for the insurance companies, and likely increase the scrutiny insurers place on doctors within their network, experts said.
Although the case rests on Nevada state tort law, other state courts could follow Nevada's lead, forcing insurers to make significant changes to their oversight of member doctors, and either raise premiums or further restrict their networks of doctors, said several professors who specialize in medical malpractice law.
Dr. Arnold Rosen must be all ears hearing this news! (Sorry, bad Mad Men joke.)