Legal Individual – Monster Beats Kopfhorerde Wed, 06 Oct 2021 07:44:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Legal Individual – Monster Beats Kopfhorerde 32 32 The inconsistent ethics of whale research Wed, 06 Oct 2021 07:04:20 +0000

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Almost 40 years after a majority of the member states of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) voted in 1982 to end commercial whaling indefinitely, whaling continues, although to a lesser extent everything like scientific research using the products of this hunt. And according to a new study, that research is not limited to scientists in whaling countries: Researchers from countries whose governments boast anti-whaling policies are also working with whaling companies to procure meat, tissue and other products. whaling products for research.

The study authors reviewed 35 peer-reviewed articles and conference abstracts describing research relying on Icelandic whaling products since 2003, when that country resumed whaling after an 11 hiatus. years. They argue that their findings underscore “the need to improve ethical guidelines for whale research involving samples or data from controversial sources such as Icelandic whaling.”

Of the 59 institutions involved in the research identified in the study, almost half were from four countries: Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. These countries supported the 1982 vote and formally opposed the fact that when Iceland resumed whaling in 2003, it did so after joining the IWC. Of the articles reviewed by the authors, about half were partially funded by government grants from one or more of these countries.

The purpose of the article is not to name and shame individual scientists who use the products of whaling in their research. Instead, study co-author Vassili Papastavrou of the International Fund for Animal Welfare, who wrote the article with independent whale researcher Conor Ryan and Peter Sand at LMU Munich in Germany, argues that The thicket of ethical and legal issues surrounding whaling is too entangled to expect individual scientists to navigate on their own.

“There are a whole bunch of international laws regarding whales and the decisions that have been made, and these are beyond the competence of the average academic,” Papastavrou insists. “We don’t say what’s right or wrong. We are not the arbitrators. But there really is a need for an appropriate set of ethical guidelines to help everyone involved determine what to do. “

The problem is more than just an inconsistency, says Hal Whitehead, a biologist and whale specialist at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia who was not involved in the study. While some researchers may excuse the use of the proceeds of whaling on the grounds that these whales were going to be killed anyway, their very involvement could make future whaling more likely, he says.

“It is a problem when the science that is done on the products of whaling is used to justify whaling,” he says.

Two guidelines, Papastavrou argues, would prevent a situation in which governments with anti-whaling policies fund research that is based on the whaling they oppose.

On the one hand, says Papastavrou, “I think any government funding should require an appropriate ethical review of the nature of research. And is what you are proposing to do legal in your own country? The latter, he argues, would align this research with the standards set over the past decades by the medical research community, which now prohibits the outsourcing of medical trials to countries with less stringent regulations. Further, he and his co-authors cite a guideline from the American Medical Association that states, “If unethical experimental data can be replaced with ethically researched data and achieve the same goals, then it must. be done.

One of the scientists whose work was included in the analysis, Alex Aguilar of the University of Barcelona in Spain, questions what he sees as the hypothesis of Papastavrou and his colleagues of a consensus according to which commercial whaling is unethical. Aguilar argues that commercial whaling “is a perfectly acceptable activity for many IWC member countries”.

Aguilar also points out that the Society for Marine Mammalogy’s guidelines for the treatment of marine mammals in field research state that, to the extent possible, activities such as hunting “should be used as a source of material for scientific studies of marine mammals”.

In contrast, another researcher whose work has been cited by Papastavrou and colleagues says he thinks there should be “more ethical guidelines instituted by journals as well as professional societies.”

The researcher, who asked not to be named for fear of embarrassing or unintentionally messy colleagues, was previously drawn to the idea that using meat and tissue samples to obtain data on whale biology could potentially lead to better conservation efforts.

More recently, however, his position has changed. “Aided not only by my own awareness and evolution as a researcher, but also by a radical change in scientific methods and perspective, I am now much less comfortable using such fabrics of dubious provenance than ever before. previously. Not only would I no longer use such fabrics, but I would be happier if no one did. “

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Pandora Trust Disclosures – Less Fraud Than Expected Tue, 05 Oct 2021 18:14:27 +0000

The new WikiLeaks-style disclosures and “revelations” about offshore and domestic “secret trust” agreements will reveal a large number of legitimate and perfectly legal family planning agreements that are typically established for non-tax purposes by US taxpayers and non-Americans.

The asset protection trust

It is perfectly legal and it is the right of any US taxpayer to establish an irrevocable trust in an offshore jurisdiction which may offer legal arrangements that are not available or considered to be as reliable in the United States.

For example, in Private Letter Ruling 200944002, which was issued to a taxpayer requesting specific tax advice on the proposed transfer to an Alaskan asset protection trust, the person wanted to place assets in an irrevocable trust as gift using part of his estate. tax exemption so that the assets placed under the trust, as well as the future income and growth thereof, can be held for family members without being subject to federal inheritance tax in the same manner as these Trusts are usually established in the home state where the settlor / contributor lives.

In this situation, Alaska was one of the few states in 2009 to allow the establishment of irrevocable trusts that can benefit the settlor / contributor without allowing their creditors to access the trust. While the creditors of a contributor to a trust can access the trust and the trustee can make distributions for that contributor, the estate tax law considers the trust to be owned by the contributor and therefore taxable on the death of the contributor. contributor.

We learned from the 2009 private letter decision that the IRS understands that a contributor could donate to an irrevocable trust that would benefit them if and when needed, but could still be excluded for the purposes of protection against losses. creditors.

Full faith and credit clause

It would work well for a person who resides in Alaska and creates this type of trust, but the rules for creditor protection are not as clear when a person residing in a state that does not recognize asset protection trusts (like New York, California, or Florida) creates a trust in Alaska for this purpose. The reason this is not clear is that the full faith and credit clause of the United States Constitution generally states that a state court must give “full credit” and follow the judgment of a court of another state, unless it is clearly wrong. .

As a result, no one can be sure that Florida or Alaska law should apply if a Floridian establishes an asset protection trust in Alaska and is then sued by another Floridian for an incident in Florida. There is support for the proposition that Alaska law should still apply in determining whether a creditor could seize the Alaska trust, but we have no test cases that have gone to the appeal level. on this subject.

The offshore trust

For this reason, it is safer for U.S. taxpayers who do this type of conventional planning to use a trust company located in an offshore jurisdiction, such as Nevis, Belize, or the Cook Islands, which have special legislation to help secure. that individuals anywhere in the world can establish a trust there without any creditors that arise later on reaching the trust.

Offshore trusts are “disregarded” for income tax purposes under Article 684 of the Tax Code, so all income of the trust is considered income of the settlor (s). , and therefore reportable and taxable on Form 1040, Personal Income Tax Return. . This results in a situation where there are no savings or income tax costs other than following the proper reporting and normal tax rules that would generally apply.

In addition to tax planning purposes, every U.S. citizen has the right to set up a financial structure that will exclude creditors who do not exist and are not expected at the time the structure is established, and some states allow the creation of such structures even after the arrival of a creditor on the scene.

Just as almost all states have a law that protects a number of categories of assets from creditors, US nationals have the right to use offshore laws by creating offshore trusts, and have been doing so for decades, if not centuries. .

It is therefore not surprising that a large number of well-advised American individuals have established and maintained offshore trusts and similar structures, and that the vast majority of these structures are fully income tax compliant.

In particular, the tax law requires extensive disclosure of the assets and activities of offshore trusts to the IRS, and there are significant penalties for non-disclosure. You can read about this by looking at IRS Form 3520, IRS Form 3520-A, and Treasury Department Form FinCEN 114 (FBAR Form) and reading the related instructions.

Sometimes the guardianship under these trusts established by US taxpayers will consist of a foreign trust company and a domestic trust company acting as co-trustees, to avoid having to deposit as a foreign trust. Under these “hybrid trusts,” the trust agreement provides that the US-based co-trustee will have control of the trust’s assets and decision-making and that US law will apply to the trust. , unless or until the US Trustee resigns. This avoids having to file a Form 3520, 3520A, or FBAR when it is properly written, implemented and operated. All of this is permitted under section 7701 (a) (30) (E) of the IRC, which defines a “foreign trust” and describes what Treasury regulations call the “control test” and the “control test”. court ”to determine whether a trust is a foreign trust.

Confidentiality in estate planning

Because of the above, it is painful to see a presumption or assumption that individuals and families who have formed and maintained offshore trusts or trusts in national jurisdictions are breaking the law or acting illegally for any reason. It is especially painful to see that reputable trust companies with which our law firm and other law firms have worked for several decades see their files and their clients’ affairs disclosed indiscriminately as if they were regularly involved. in some kind of financial or tax fraud, which is certainly not the case from what we have seen and experienced over the past 30 years.

International bankers and trust companies are well aware of the importance of operating ethically and accurately, and of protecting the confidentiality of client information, except for government disclosures and reports required under numerous laws. which they must navigate and with which they must comply.

Regulatory conformity

As for non-U.S. Individuals and families who have placed their assets in international trusts, which now typically include trusts in Nevada and South Dakota, the vast majority of these arrangements also comply with U.S. tax and must be compliant in the country of the constituent. / origin of the contributor.

It is generally against US law for a US professional to participate in violating the law of a foreign country. There is nothing wrong, however, in helping a foreign individual to establish a trust or trusts which may be immune from being attacked by creditors, or to form and operate trusts which can leverage. foreign tax laws that allow trusts formed outside the jurisdiction of the owner’s place of residence to facilitate the avoidance or deferral of income tax.

For example, many foreign countries have tax laws that essentially provide that only income from inside the foreign country is taxable, and that income from outside the foreign country that is held under special trusts. will not be taxable unless or until they are reintroduced into the country. country in which the grantor / contributor resides.

In fact, such trusts were commonly used by American citizens until the early 1960s, when the United States began to pass legislation prohibiting American taxpayers from engaging in such strategies, in part due to the efforts of the United States. of President John F. Kennedy, whose family used these trusts for tax avoidance and other purposes before he became president.

Now, U.S. companies can still engage in similar strategies with respect to foreign income that is earned under structures where a foreign company known as a “blocker” is not subject to the tax. tax in the country where it is incorporated, so that income is not taxed before it is imported into the United States.

Transparency against harassment

Journalists who have found and disclosed sensitive and confidential information about large numbers of individuals and families around the world can act nobly and with good intentions to expose tax evasion and crime, which undoubtedly exists to some extent. in the international arena, but at the same time, they disrupt private families and lives that are in full compliance with all US and international laws, and are exposed to possible financial and even personal harm due to assumptions and d insinuations that may be completely incorrect and unwarranted.

This will encourage more U.S. taxpayers to resort to smaller trust companies, law firms, or other persons or entities that provide foreign trustee services to reduce the likelihood of them being exposed to exposure. massive public of this nature.

In some cases, it is not uncommon for foreign individuals and families to entrust assets to a trust that will not be accessible to the government of the country they live in for fear of improper or illegal retaliation / foreclosure. In fact, a provision in a trust agreement that indicates a government reversal of the jurisdiction in which the trustee is located is called a “Cuba clause”.

US citizens can continue to use appropriately formed, funded and declared offshore trusts for legitimate tax planning and creditor protection purposes when the circumstances are right. Unfortunately, they risk having their personal information exposed to the general public in such circumstances, and being subjected to unnecessary criticism or mockery as a result.

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Battle Ground votes against “medical freedom” ordinance Tue, 05 Oct 2021 05:49:59 +0000

Following a heated exchange, Battle Ground City Council on Monday rejected a proposed “medical freedom” ordinance in a 4-2 vote.

Council members Brian Munson and Shauna Walters voted in favor of the ordinance; Mayor Adrian Cortes, Deputy Mayor Phillip Johnson and council members Shane Bowman and Cherish DeRochers voted against.

DeRochers said she supports medical freedom and would have been inclined to vote for the prescription if the negative effects had not been so severe.

Bowman and Johnson were particularly critical of the ordinance and Munson for proposing it. Both accused Munson of political demagoguery and of campaigning from the podium.

“It has nothing to do with the citizens of Battle Ground,” Bowman said. “The people who elected us are paying for it, so that we can play political games from the platform. This is unacceptable.

Bowman and Johnson also aimed to have the city spend taxpayer dollars to hire an outside legal advisor and use the time of the city attorney and city staff to research the order.

The city hired Yakima’s lawyer Kirk Ehlis to review the order and provide legal advice. Ehlis said the ordinance could create legal liability for the city and individual council members who would not be covered by the city’s insurance pool.

Ehlis also said, in his opinion, that Governor Jay Inslee has the legal authority to pass warrants and those warrants have the force of law.

City attorney Christine Hayes agreed the city and council could be open to legal action if the ordinance is passed. She also said the city would have to comply with all laws to receive federal funding, which the ordinance could put at risk. In addition, the city could be fined by agencies like OSHA, which could impose fines of up to $ 14,000 per day.

“I want to see what my countrymen are willing to bet,” Johnson said of the city’s $ 44 million annual budget. “We have already spent around $ 10,000. “

Despite their votes in favor of the ordinance, Munson and Walters made little comment during the meeting.

The council will then meet at 7 p.m. on October 18. All meetings take place on Zoom.

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Commissioner sought to oversee 3 Ohio redistribution lawsuits – Morning Journal Mon, 04 Oct 2021 17:07:10 +0000


COLUMBUS – Lawyers in one of three lawsuits against the new Ohio legislative district maps on Monday asked the state’s High Court to appoint a senior commissioner to oversee the disputes.

Voter attorneys represented by the National Democratic Redistricting Committee told the Ohio Supreme Court that special oversight is needed to resolve discovery disputes between three separate legal teams that have sued the Ohio Redistricting Commission.

The lawsuits allege overlaps and separate violations of the Ohio Constitution by the panel, which was forced to pass four-year cards across party lines because majority Republicans failed to come up with an agreement with the two Democrats on the panel. The group’s GOP members defend the Ohio House and Ohio Senate cards as fair and constitutional.

They are expected to continue to offer qualified majorities to Republicans in both chambers, although the state’s partisan split is around 54% Republicans and 46% Democrats.

In their Monday filing, lawyers for the National Democratic Redistricting Committee said they had made good faith efforts to resolve disputes with their fellow lawyers, but that “it is already clear that some disputes are fundamental and will be intractable. “.

Disagreements became apparent after a meeting on Friday, they said. Among the areas in which lawyers disagree is whether members of the redistribution committee can be removed, whether they must answer written questions, and whether third parties can be questioned or asked to produce statements. evidence.

The lawsuits are the first to be brought under amendments to the Ohio Constitution that were overwhelmingly approved by state voters in 2015.

The seven-member high court, made up of four Republicans and three Democrats, has exclusive jurisdiction to resolve redistribution disputes. He set an expedited schedule for the hearing of the three cases, culminating in oral argument on December 8.

The other two lawsuits were brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Ohio, A. Philip Randolph Institute and individual voters; and by the Ohio Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Ohio Organizing Collaborative and the Ohio Environmental Council and individual voters.

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Pat DeWine has said he will not recuse himself, although his father, Governor Mike DeWine, is a member of the redistribution panel being sued. Both DeWines are Republicans.

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Murdaugh civil lawsuit: Vicky Ward’s testimony sought on alleged sale of confidential deposition Sat, 02 Oct 2021 20:44:28 +0000

My media reported several weeks ago on the Hollywood binge eating linked to the true ‘Murdaugh Murders’ crime saga in rural South Carolina – which has only intensified in the weeks that follow. followed.

“Hovering over the rubbish of multiple crime scenes, hiding in a labyrinthine maze of convoluted court dramas and looking behind every new twist are huge dollar signs… and a mad rush is underway in some corners to garner so much. of those dollars than humanly possible, ”I noted at the time.

Many of those pursuing these dollar signs are already making initial investments in Murdaugh’s story – inking “consultants”, lining up production companies, and hiring researchers as they begin the long and arduous process of collecting and selling. sorting through mountains of sources related to the drama. .

The final goal? To turn all the raw information, images and footage they collect into something that looks like a captivating, digestible… and yes, marketable story.

“Songs mean a lot when songs are bought” Stephen malkmus from the alternative indie group Pavement once sang.

Ditto for the stories …

Either way, some of the circling vultures seeking to ride the thermal updrafts of the gentle Palmetto Lowcountry may have used less than ethical means to get their information – including a reporter accused of purchasing confidential documents associated with a major crime. Murdaugh family death trial.

I refer, of course, to the pending action brought by the family of Mallory Beach – a case that reached a higher level of energy earlier this week when one of the most powerful members of the SC General Assembly appeared in court on behalf of one of its defendants.

Beach, 19, of Hampton, SC, was killed shortly after 2:00 a.m. EST on February 24, 2019. On that fateful morning, a 17-foot center console fishing boat owned by the lawyer Alex murdaugh (the man currently at the center of this still ongoing saga) and allegedly led by his late son, Paul murdaugh, crashed into the piles of a bridge in Beaufort County, SC at high speed.

Paul Murdaugh was “drunker than Cooter Brown” at the time of the crash, to quote his late grandfather – former Fourteenth Circuit SC lawyer Randolph Murdaugh III (one of three Murdaughs to hold this position between 1920-2006).

(Click to view)

(Via: Beach Family)

Beach (above) was thrown into the cold, dark water as a result of the boat’s impact with the deck – never to be seen alive again. His body was found a week later by fishermen more than five miles from the crash site.

Paul Murdaugh, who was nineteen at the time of the crash, bought alcoholic drinks from a Parker’s grocery store in Ridgeland, SC using a driver’s license belonging to his brother, Buster murdaugh.

Her family’s lawyers claimed the store was negligent in selling her alcohol, which is why Parker’s kitchen and its founder Greg Parker are listed as defendants in this case along with Buster and Alex Murdaugh. More defendants could still be added, says Beach family lawyer Mark Tinsley.

As noted in my previous coverage, Paul Murdaugh was criminally charged with three counts of impaired boating as a result of this incident, although he was never tried on those charges because he and his mother, aged 52 Maggie Murdaugh, were brutally murdered on the family’s hunting property on the border of Colleton and Hampton counties three months ago.

“Paul Murdaugh was reportedly killed by a pair of shotgun blasts – one in the chest and another that hit him in the arm and head,” I reported at the time, citing my network of sources. police and judicial.

This information has since been publicly confirmed by health officials to be the cause of Paul Murdaugh’s death.

As for Maggie Murdaugh, she was reportedly shot dead by a semi-automatic rifle at or around the same time that her son was killed.

Alex Murdaugh remains a “person of interest” in the context of this investigation for double homicide.

Charges against Paul Murdaugh evidently died with him, but an ongoing criminal investigation is examining allegations of obstruction of justice following the boat accident – with Alex Murdaugh and other members of his family believed to be under the microscope. This investigation is currently before the SC State Grand Jury in Columbia, SC

Meanwhile, the Murdaugh family – and the powerful law firm they founded in Hampton – are at least embroiled in six criminal investigations and a rapidly growing list of civil cases.

This particular civil case, however, attracted the most media attention … including “journalistic” interest which may have gone beyond certain ethical and legal limits. In fact, during a court appearance this week in Lexington County, Tinsley accused one of the Beach Defendants of selling confidential mediation material to a reporter who is currently working on a documentary on the Murdaugh family.

According to court documents filed in Hampton County, British-born author, journalist and commentator Vicky ward has been subpoenaed by lawyers for the Beach family – and ordered to appear in a deposition next Monday (October 4, 2021) in Bluffton, SC

Ward is a former CNN reporter who, according to her own affidavit in the matter (.pdf), “is currently working on a project to produce a current affairs documentary concerning the Murdaugh family in Hampton County, North Carolina. South”.

“As part of my information gathering efforts for the Murdaugh family documentary, I spent four days in South Carolina in September 2021,” Ward’s affidavit continues.

(Click to view)

(Via: Askryan via Wikimedia Commons)

During this trip, Ward (above) obtained confidential information about the mediation of a person or entity affiliated with the Defendants in the Beach case. In fact, as Tinsley noted during this week’s hearing, this information would have been sold to him.

In light of these allegations, Tinsley is looking for all documents in Ward’s possession relating to the Beach case, “including, but not limited to, the confidential video of the mediation presentation and any other material he either written, electronic or in any other form “. Specifically, Tinsley’s subpoena seeks to determine whether Ward obtained confidential mediating information from “any person, company, or entity, who was operating on behalf of, related to, or associated in any way with Gregory M. Parker, Inc., Parker’s Corporation, Gregory M. Parker, or their agents or employees.

The summons further relates to documents in Ward’s possession provided by any person “affiliated in any way with the law firm of Baker Hostetler, the law firm of Griffith, Freeman and Liipfert, LLC, the firm of attorneys Collins and Lacy, PC, or any other representative “of Parker and its companies.

Finally, the subpoena applies to all documents in Ward’s possession provided by any person affiliated with “Private Investigation Services Group, LLC, Max Fratoddi or Henry Rosoda, including, but not limited to, all reports, media , images, recordings, videos, emails, correspondence, contracts, nondisclosure agreements, notes, text messages or any other communication with such persons or entities.

These individuals and entities would be working on Parker’s behalf in this matter.





According to a document (.pdf) from Ward’s attorney, she is invoking South Carolina’s journalistic “protection law” by refusing to be impeached by Tinsley – and by refusing to comply with the filing requirements that ‘he issued.

As someone who has made a name for himself defending his confidential sources, I respect that. In fact, my source protection case triggered a much needed debate on the loopholes in Palmetto State’s “shield law”.

No journalist should already be forced to violate the trust of one of their confidential sources, and if Ward does have a confidential source for any of the information she obtained – so I got it back 100 percent by refusing to give the name (s) of these people.

Were Ward’s sources confidential, however?

Not according to Tinsley. According to the plaintiffs’ attorney, Ward broke confidentiality – and thus revoked any legal protection to which she might have been entitled – when she told him and another lawyer, Thabor Vaux, the source of the information it received.

“She told us what she had and where she got it, which is why the subpoena asks what she is asking for,” Tinsley told me, adding that “the Journalists Shield Act protects only confidential information “.

Ward’s lawyer, Andrew Celli, Jr., disputed this interpretation.

“Vicky Ward is an investigative reporter entitled to the full protection of the South Carolina Journalists Shield Act,” Celli told me. “She is neither a party nor a supporter of the swirling controversies surrounding the Murdaugh affair; she just covers them as a journalist. Our legal files speak for themselves.

While Ward’s claim to the Palmetto State Shield Law remains unresolved, she is unlikely to encounter any legal issues in relation to the materials she allegedly purchased. Even if it is determined that she improperly obtained confidential mediation files, the guilt would likely lie with those who to supply sealed materials.

Yet Ward’s injection into this saga intensifies the pitched battle currently unfolding between the Beach family and the various defendants named in this potentially multi-million dollar civil lawsuit. Additionally, it underscores the fierce competition for inside information tied to the larger Murdaugh saga by those looking to capitalize on it in the media arena.

Stay tuned… this medium looks forward to informing its readers about the disposition of this particular aspect of the civil case, which continues to generate considerable interest alongside the multiple criminal investigations linked to this saga.



(Via: FITSNews)

Will people is the founding editor of the newspaper you are reading now. Prior to founding FITSNews, he was press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children. And yes, he has a LOT of hats (including the San Diego Padres cover pictured above).



Do you have something to say in response to one of our stories? Or a problem that you would like to proactively solve? We have an open microphone policy here at FITSNews! Submit your own letter to the editor (or guest column) via email HERE. A tip for a story? CLICK HERE. A technical question or a problem to report? CLICK HERE.




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Price hike claims for COVID-19 testing Sat, 02 Oct 2021 01:57:00 +0000

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – Health experts say some companies are charging excessive prices for COVID-19 testing, all because of a loophole in federal law.

A provision in the CARES law passed last year allows COVID testing companies to name the price they want and requires private health insurance companies to pay the full amount.

In lawsuits, health insurers claim the practice has led to “price hikes” and “catastrophic profits” from some testing companies. Regulators say inflated test prices could potentially be passed on to consumers through higher insurance premiums.

In a pharmacy, a quick COVID test costs about $ 20. But a multi-state testing company called GS Labs lists its price at $ 380 for such a test.

In a survey earlier this year, the Kaiser Family Foundation found many more examples.

“When we looked at the two largest hospitals and [Washington] DC, we have found that prices for COVID-19 diagnostic tests can range from $ 40 to $ 1,400, ”said Krutika Amin, KFF health policy expert.

As long as a COVID test is “medically necessary,” patients don’t have to foot the bill.

The CARES law requires insurance companies to cover the full cost of COVID testing, even if the person does not have symptoms or a doctor’s referral, Amin said. There are other programs to cover the costs of testing for uninsured people.

Some providers may bill the patient in advance, but consumers can submit the bill to insurance later for reimbursement, Amin said. There are only limited exceptions. Insurers are not responsible for covering return-to-work testing, so patients may take responsibility.

“In the interest of public health, Congress wanted to make sure that COVID-19 tests were available without any barriers for people, and therefore they needed insurance to cover the full cost of the prices of the drugs. COVID-19 testing, ”Amin said.

However, the federal government has not set limits on how much private insurance companies could have to pay for COVID testing, Amin said. This contrasts with the way the government has handled payments for COVID vaccines, where regulators set limits on what they consider reasonable fees.

Congress expected private health insurers and testing companies to negotiate COVID testing rates in good faith. But lawmakers gave the testing companies the ultimate trump card: In the event the two parties couldn’t come to an agreement, insurance companies were required to pay the cash price the testing provider quoted online.

This gives testing companies little incentive to negotiate, Amin said.

In a lawsuit, Kansas City’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield accused testing provider GS Labs of refusing to negotiate and instead displaying “fictitious spot prices” that were “excessive” and “objectively unreasonable.”

GS Labs says it follows the law. The company claims its pricing is justified because of its level of customer service.
Ultimately, customers who get these tests aren’t paying those high prices now, but regulators warn that could change in the future.

“If these astronomical costs billed by unscrupulous providers are borne by health plans and insurers without compensation, consumers will ultimately pay more for their health care as health insurance costs increase,” wrote Justin McFarland , general counsel for the Kansas Insurance Department.

This week, a bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced a bill designed to curb surprise billing for COVID tests and fight price hikes.

The bill would require the Department of Health and Human Services to survey test companies and issue a public report “outlining which vendors charge prices that significantly exceed the average spot price.”

Another bill proposed in July would cap the price of coronavirus tests at twice the reimbursement rate set by Medicare.

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Reading of the meeting of leaders of the Ministry of Justice with members of the National Working Group to End Sexual and Domestic Violence | Takeover bid Fri, 01 Oct 2021 15:33:44 +0000

Yesterday, U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco and Deputy Attorney General Vanita Gupta hosted a virtual listening session with members of the National Task Force to End Sexual Violence and to discuss the unmet needs of survivors and how to improve and strengthen the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) to help meet these needs. The Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General were joined by the leadership of the Ministry of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW).

At the start of the meeting, Attorney General Garland reaffirmed that addressing gender-based violence has long been and remains a priority for the Department of Justice. The attorney general discussed the ministry’s budget request for fiscal year 2022, which includes a historic investment of $ 1 billion to support the work of the OVW. He said he held the post of Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General in 1995, when the Justice Department first established an office dedicated to addressing domestic violence and sexual assault.

The Deputy Attorney General also shared her own experience of working to end gender-based violence, including as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee in the early 1990s, when the Violence Against Women Act was introduced. was adopted for the first time. Among the responsibilities of the Deputy Attorney General was collecting personal stories from individual survivors to illustrate the urgent need for stronger legal protections.

Members of the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence spoke about the importance of VAWA and the work of the OVW over the past quarter century, including funding several of the first comprehensive aid centers. to rape victims in our country; recognize tribal jurisdiction over non-Indian perpetrators of domestic violence; dedicate resources to improve culturally appropriate services and reach underserved communities, and reduce homicides through federal gun bans. Advocates have stressed the critical need to re-authorize VAWA.

Attorney General Garland and Deputy Attorney General of Monaco commended national advocacy organizations for their efforts on behalf of survivors of sexual and domestic violence and thanked them for sharing their expertise and knowledge on the ground to respond to these crimes. And the Deputy Attorney General closed the meeting by underscoring the department’s commitment to work tirelessly for the speedy reauthorization of VAWA this year, which she will testify on Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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Lusher Charter Board of Directors votes to begin school renaming process Fri, 01 Oct 2021 02:01:12 +0000

The Lusher Charter School Board voted Thursday night to begin the process of renaming the school, following the Orleans Parish School Board and other local charter boards in removing names associated with school segregation and Confederation.

The K-12 school is named after Robert Mills Lusher, a Confederate official during the Civil War, who went on to serve as the state superintendent of education and was a strong supporter of school segregation.

Thursday’s vote will only begin the name change process. The board of directors does not yet have an alternate name in mind. For now, the name Lusher will remain. After a 90-minute closed-door session with no public debate, the board chair appointed a five-person panel to present three name change options to the board by November.

Lusher – which was founded as an elementary school in 1917 – became a charter school the year after Hurricane Katrina, when charter schools began to replace traditional schools run by the New Brunswick District. Orleans.

The Orleans Parish School Board has already changed the name of the old Lusher building, which is owned by the district and houses Lusher Elementary School, to Dr. Everett J. Williams, Jr., the city’s first black superintendent of the city’s public school system. The Lusher High School campus, named in honor of Alcee Fortier who was also a supporter of segregation, was renamed in honor of Elijah Brimmer, Jr., who was the longtime group principal of school.

The Lusher building was one of a number buildings belonging to the district that the OPSB recently renamed because they were named after a slave owner, separatist, or segregationist – a categorization that requires them to be renamed under a board policy adopted last year. (The council also renamed the old high school building Alcee Fortier, which now houses Lusher’s middle and high school.) The wording for the policy was proposed in June 2020, as a wave of protests swept through the country following the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, who was convicted this summer.

But – the policy only applies to school buildings belonging to the Orléans Parish School Board. While in traditional school districts the names of schools and buildings are the same, NOLA public schools are made up entirely of independent charter schools, which operate under their own names. This leaves individual program name changes – like Lusher’s – to their appointed independent school boards.

Thursday’s meeting began with an executive session – excluding parents and community members and frustrating members of the public. Counsel for the board, James Brown, streamlined the board’s move to an executive session, citing the state attorney general’s office, who said public councils can meet behind closed doors to consult their lawyers on legal issues. This is due to attorney-client privilege, which is recognized in the Louisiana Evidence Code.

“Because attorney-client privilege is statutory in Louisiana and is a matter provided for by the legislature that is a qualifying basis for having an executive session to receive advice from legal counsel,” he said.

Several parents and community members questioned the need to discuss the issue behind closed doors.

“You have every right to go to an executive session; However, that doesn’t mean you have to, especially given the importance and passion surrounding the issue, ”parent Kelly McClure wrote in the comments.

“It’s very confusing to me that you’re going to an executive session to talk to each other as this issue came out in the open,” said Erin Greenwald, parent. “It sounds sneaky, which is in keeping with the way this process has unfolded. I encourage you to have this discussion in front of the public.

Counsel for counsel advised otherwise.

“There are legal issues that need to be resolved and my advice to the client is to receive it under solicitor-client privilege,” Brown said.

Parents asked for details on the length of the private session, but council could not provide details. The board met in private for almost 90 minutes.

After the private session, Rachel Wisdom, a board member, made a motion to change the name of the school. The board then took 30 minutes of public comment – all in support of the change.

“I’m glad we’re here. It’s been a long year, ”Wisdom said. “I fully support the advancement of the name change and hope the rest of you will too.”

“I agree,” said Alysia Loshbaugh, board member. “I think there was a part of the population that was hurt when they remembered the history of segregation from the name of the school.”

A grade 11 student identified as Ms. Jackson supported the decision.

“The story of our school and its foundation is heinous and heartbreaking,” she said. “I received an excellent arts education, but I cannot say that it took a toll on my health and that I continued to worry about my safety.

“A white supremist shouldn’t have their name written down in a school,” said one parent.

“Voting to change the name is a first step and an important step in making the school a more inclusive community,” said Greenwald. “Once this step is taken, I hope the board is ready to begin the hard work of combating the toxic culture.”

Greenwald noted the departure of former manager Steve Corbett, who defended the work towards racial equity.

“It was devastating to lose Dr Corbett as director. Please vote for a name change today, ”said one student.

One parent, who identified himself as a person of color, said his high school students were embarrassed to use the school’s name and his elementary-aged daughter also had questions.

“My second grader keeps asking why the administrators won’t change the school name of someone who didn’t want her in this school,” she said.

The council voted unanimously to change the name of the school.

Board member Alysia Loshbaugh then proposed that a panel be assembled to review the names, collect community feedback and present three potential names to the board by its November meeting.

“There have been rumors that one of these options could be a descendant of Lusher, and I hope the board will ignore that,” said a parent.

With no discussion from board members, President George Wilson has appointed three directors and two board members to the panel that is considering new names.

They will be Executive Director, Planning and Administration, Sheila Nelson, Transition Leader Charlene Hebert, CFO Charmaine Davis and Board members Rachel Wisdom and Gary Solomon.

“This is the group to give to three names to accompany us in this process,” Wilson said.

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