February 8, 2013 |
In journalism, a “standing hed” is a headline that can be used over and over because the event it describes is recurring. My favorite standing hed is “Pope Prays for Peace,” but the New York Times this week had one that is becoming equally familiar: “Bishops Reject Birth Control Compromise.” The main point of the story was that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops had rejected the Obama administration's latest tinkering with its...
January 5, 2013 |
If you're concerned about corporate crime, 2012 looked like a pretty successful year for the good guys. The Thousand Oaks biotech giant Amgen paid $762 million in fines and penalties and pleaded guilty to a federal charge related to illegal marketing of its anemia drug Aranesp. Britain's GlaxoSmithKline and Illinois-based Abbott Laboratories paid $3 billion and $1.5 billion in government penalties, respectively, in connection with their off-label promotions of blockbuster drugs.
December 16, 2012
THE $2 BILLION TO BUY THE DODGERS $100 million: Guggenheim Partners Chief Executive Mark Walter $100 million: Guggenheim Partners President Todd Boehly $100 million: Texas energy investor Bobby Patton $50 million: Magic Johnson $25 million: Mandalay Entertainment Group Chairman Peter Guber $412 million: Debt assumption $1.213 billion: Guggenheim Partners insurance companies controlled by Walter The new owners also...
December 13, 2012 |
Rita Corwin, 90, conscientiously paid her premiums for long-term care insurance for 21 years to make sure that if she needed help as she grew older and more fragile, she'd get it. Yet now that she finds herself in a position to require such assistance, her insurer, Washington National Insurance Co., is denying her claims. "She bought this insurance for the same reason anyone would," said Corwin's daughter, Leni, who has been representing her mother in their dealings with the company.
December 5, 2012 |
Consumers saved nearly $1.5 billion in 2011 as a result of rules in President Obama's healthcare law that limit what insurance companies can spend on expenses unrelated to medical care, including profit, a new analysis shows. Much of those savings -- an estimated $1.1 billion -- came in rebates to consumers required because insurers had exceeded the required limits. The study by the New York-based Commonwealth Fund also suggests that the Affordable Care Act forced insurers to become more efficient by limiting their administrative expenses, a key goal of the 2010 law. In some cases, insurers passed savings on to consumers in the form of lower premiums and higher spending on medical care, the researchers found.
November 30, 2012 |
In a bid to expedite money to Superstorm Sandy victims, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order tightening rules on insurance companies and relaxing rules for homeowner advocates. According to the executive order, 24 insurance companies in the state must start investigating claims filed by families affected by Sandy within six days instead of the standard 15. Companies are also prohibited from canceling policies of homeowners and small businesses in stricken areas through Dec. 15, according to the Department of Financial Services.
November 20, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration reaffirmed key requirements of the new healthcare law Tuesday, setting out how insurance companies will cover nearly all Americans, even if they are already ill, and provide plans with minimum benefits. Consumer advocates, insurers and business groups were looking for signs the administration might try to modify some of the law's requirements as the federal government races to implement the legislation by the end of next year. But the proposed rules issued Tuesday hew closely to the Affordable Care Act that President Obama signed in 2010.
November 6, 2012 |
SACRAMENTO -- Proposition 33, an auto insurance initiative bankrolled by 91-year-old Mercury General Corp. Chairman George Joseph, was struggling late on election day. With about 29% of the votes counted statewide, the measure had only 46.9% of the vote in favor, with 53.1% opposing. Critics of Proposition 33, led by Santa Monica-based Consumer Watchdog, said they expected the no vote to grow even larger after the bulk of votes are tallied in populous Los Angeles County. The measure would have changed part of a nearly quarter-century-old initiative that regulated auto insurance in California and specifically banned insurers from offering a type of discount provided by Proposition 33. The initiative would provide a special rate for previously insured drivers even when they switch insurance companies.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 4, 2012 |
More than half a billion dollars in political cash is likely to be spent in California by Tuesday, a staggering amount in a year when the presidential candidates are barely present and voters appear tepid about much of the state ballot. This election will rank among the top in California history for campaign spending -- without the governor's office or most other top posts in play. The money infused into ballot-measure campaigns, congressional races and bids for state legislative seats is a reminder that California is an election powerhouse in its own right.
November 4, 2012 |
An identity thief who gains access to your credit card or bank account could harm you financially, but one who steals your medical information could also endanger your health. Here are key things to know about medical identity theft: • When an impostor uses your identity to get hospital care, order prescription drugs or submit fraudulent insurance claims, false information may end up in your medical record. This could be "a different blood type, an inaccurate history of drug or alcohol abuse, test results that aren't yours, or a diagnosis of an illness, allergy or condition you don't have," the Federal Trade Commission warned.