Aetna, an health insurance agency, has recently agreed to settle with the State of Missouri for $1.5 million after violating strict requirements regarding abortions, contraception, and autism in insurance policies. Missouri has unique laws that outline what insurance agencies are allowed to do and what they are not allowed to do involving these three touchy subjects. In 1983 a law was made that prohibits abortion coverage from basic insurance policies and instead requires payment of an additional premium. A 2001 Missouri law states that birth control prescriptions should be covered under policies with pharmaceutical benefits. That law also allows people to purchase a plan with contraception coverage if their employer’s plan does not offer it. Aetna provided coverage for contraceptives and abortions without allowing employers to opt out. According to officials, Aetna had also excluded coverage for autism spectrum disorders.
Apple recently acquired a patent that would disable an iPhone’s camera, recording ability and even put it into sleep mode. The patent characterizes its function as “forcing certain electronic devices to enter ‘sleep mode’ when entering a sensitive area”. There are certainly some benefits of this feature that would make life a little less annoying. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to never enjoy a film without the interruption of someone’s cell phone? College lectures would be silent of ringtones and it could even cut down on cheating. While these functions appear to be harmless and even beneficial, there are serious legal questions being raised that cause some to worry about other uses of the patent. What exactly is a sensitive area and who gets to determine this?
The NFL is the Titanic of sports. It’s big, fast, powerful, and at the moment it’s sinking fast. After watching last nights match up between the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks, I think it is safe to say that Roger Goodell has done a poor job “protecting the shield”. I was originally a supporter of Goodell’s reluctance to give in to the NFL referees demands. In reality, being an NFL referee is the best part-time job anyone can have. So give me a break refs, you guys need to appreciate the fact that you have the highest per-game salary in American sports. That being said, Goodell has truly tarnished one of the most powerful and influential brands in the world in the course of 3 short weeks. The debate is over and the verdict is in, the replacement referees are taking away from the integrity of the game. As Steve Young put it last night after the game, “everybody senses it, that this is impacting the competitive landscape of the NFL and it brings it down”. Trent Dilfer, an ESPN analyst, took it one step further by claiming that “the NFL has insulted our intelligence by trying to tell us that this isn’t a big deal.”