Reynolds Weekly: Monday, October 15

by October 15, 2018

Medical insurance may soon change. Here’s how localize this national story–along with several more. (Photo credit by Pixabay user rawpixel)

Blocking Foreign Investments

An expanded federal review process is underway to review and block foreign investments in the name of national security.

This will largely affect China and its potential to acquire or partner with U.S. companies,which the White House says “hurt American companies.” The administration is also concerned over China and other countries acquiring sensitive U.S. technology. It will likely worsen the U.S. and China trade war, in addition to the current Beijing tariffs.

The review process will begin on Nov. 10, according to the New York Times. The U.S. Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, will explain the changes at the annual World Bank and International Fund meeting in Indonesia.

How to localize:

This reviewing process will affect 27 technological industries, including “telecommunications, semiconductors and computers.” While bidding, foreign investors will be required to submit a note of their intentions. How will this affect local technology companies?

How is the local attitude towards the tariffs? A 2018 survey by the Pew Research Center says that more Americans view the impacts as more harmful than helpful.

How many software and information technology companies are in the U.S.? More than 100,000.

What is the public attitude toward technology companies?

Aetna and CVS’s Merger

The Justice Department approved the merger between Aetna Inc. and CVS Health Corporation on Wednesday. This $69 billion deal combines one of the largest national health-care companies and the largest national retail pharmacy chain, according to the Justice Department.

However, in order for the merger to officially take place, Aetna must first get rid of their Medicare drug prescription business in order not to compete with the new merger’s business. Aetna agreed to sell them to WellCareHealth Plans Inc, effective at the end of this year. CVS’s chief executive said that this deal will provide more people with “access to more affordable care” through the “connectivity” of a larger CVS reach.

There is a concern about increased costs and fewer choices for consumers. Certain states and Consumers Union argue that the decreased competition limits consumer options, while some express concern over monopolies that harm smaller companies.

How to localize:

This deal will significantly affect the healthcare industry and is the second-largest  healthcare deal approved by the Department of Justice. How will local healthcare companies fare under this deal? Do people in your area feel optimistic (or not) about this new deal? How will it affect their insurance?

How many people use federal healthcare? How many visit CVS for medical reasons? How many have Aetna insurance?

CVS will expand to more than a service for flu shots and filling prescriptions. It will become more of a medical clinic business.

Prestige Limousine’s Owner Arrested

The owner of Prestige Limousine, whose vehicle was involved in “the deadliest U.S. transportation accident in 9 years,” was arrested on Wednesday, according to New York authorities. Nauman Hussain will likely be charged with “criminally negligible homicide,” according to the company’s lawyer. Hussain was also previously involved as an informant who thwarted two terrorist plots but also multiple financial-related criminal charges.  

The company had a record of “failed inspections” and illegally-acquired drivers’ licenses, according to the New York Times. The limousine involved was said to be speeding over 60 miles per hour and “was not supposed to be on the road,” according to New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. One of the passengers also expressed doubt before the crash about the limousine’s condition.

The crash happened on Saturday, where the vehicle ran a stop sign and sped through a busy intersection, killing 20. This included the driver, occupants and pedestrians.

How to localize:

Look into records of local limo crashes and inspections. The Bureau of Transportation provides statistics and resources to safety information.

There is also a concern over the federal oversight of stretch limousines. These vehicles are often modified to “stretch” a former car with plates and pillars, and are often not required to meet federal safety requirements, which vary from state to state. Airbags and difficulty controlling a large vehicle are main concerns, along with certain safety regulations.

For example, passengers are not required to wear seatbelts and often do not use them. How many people who ride in stretch limousines in your area use seatbelts? Are locals concerned with inspections or the safety of limousines after the crash?

In New York, owners of these vehicles are required to inform the New York State Department of Transportation to proceed with safety inspections. What is the procedure in your area? You can also search vehicle safety ratings by make, model and year on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s page.

Talk to local limousine companies. What are their safety standards?

You can also compare national demographics of limousine drivers to ones in your area.