Posts belonging to Category INSURANCE



Amazon’s warehouse-worker tracking system can automatically fire people without a human supervisor’s involvement

Amazon has fired more than 300 workers, citing productivity, at a single facility in Baltimore in a single year 

Amazon’s demanding culture of worker productivity has been revealed in multiple investigations. But a new report indicates that the company doesn’t just track worker productivity at its warehouses — it also has a system that can automatically fire them.

Amazon has fired more than 300 workers, citing productivity, at a single facility in Baltimore in a single year (August 2017 through September 2018), The Verge’s Colin Lecher reported. The Verge cited a letter by an Amazon attorney as part of a case with the National Labor Relations Board.

An Amazon spokesperson confirmed to Business Insider, “Approximately 300 employees turned over in Baltimore related to productivity in this timeframe. In general, the number of employee terminations have decreased over the last two years at this facility as well as across North America.”

Amazon’s system tracks a metric called “time off task,” meaning how much time workers pause or take breaks, The Verge reported. It has been previously reported that some workers feel so pressured that they don’t take bathroom breaks.

http://www.businessinsider.com

Tesla will roll out 1 million robot-taxis next year

Tesla to compete with Uber

On Monday, CEO Elon Musk revealed the company’s plans to compete with incumbents like Uber with the company’s strategy for an autonomous ride-hailing fleet. Robo-taxis are essentially any Tesla vehicle with autonomous-driving functionality. To turn a Tesla into a robo-taxi, a car’s owner simply adds it to the Tesla Network platform by way of the company’s app.
Musk said that by “next year for sure, we will have over 1 million robo-taxis on the road.” Riders will be able to summon a robo-taxi via the same Tesla app – similarly to how they call for an Uber or Lyft today. The key difference, of course, is that there won’t be a driver in the car.
http://www.msn.com/

Half of England is owned by less than 1% of the population

Astonishingly unequal

Half of England is owned by less than 1% of its population, according to new data shared with the Guardian that seeks to penetrate the secrecy that has traditionally surrounded land ownership.

The findings, described as “astonishingly unequal”, suggest that about 25,000 landowners – typically members of the aristocracy and corporations – have control of half of the country.

http://www.theguardian.com/

FDA Approves Johnson & Johnson’s Ketamine-Derived Drug For Treatment-Resistant Depression

Insurance companies would not pay for an unapproved treatment

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration Tuesday approved Johnson & Johnson’s ketamine-derived nasal spray Spravato for treatment-resistant depression. The green light means ketamine—an anesthetic abused as a party drug but promoted by some doctors without FDA approval as a necessary treatment for the most severely depressed patients—has spawned the first materially new depression treatment in decades.

Following early research by the National Institutes of Health, specialized clinics have offered intravenous ketamine treatments for depression on an off-label basis for many years. But since insurance companies would not pay for an unapproved treatment and psychiatrists are not accustomed to giving patients IV infusions in their offices, Johnson & Johnson began developing and running clinical trials on a related molecule, esketamine, that could receive a new FDA approval and be given to patients more conveniently.

https://www.forbes.com/

Judge rules Obamacare unconstitutional

U.S. healthcare stocks drop

Shares of U.S. health insurers, hospitals and healthcare companies fell on Monday in the aftermath of a ruling by a federal judge in Texas that the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly called Obamacare, was unconstitutional. Many legal experts predicted U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor’s decision on Friday eventually will be reversed on appeal considering that the law has been upheld by the Supreme Court, but the uncertainty created by the ruling drove down healthcare stocks on Monday.

O’Connor agreed with a coalition of Republican officials from 20 states that Obamacare was unconstitutional based on its mandate requiring that Americans obtain medical insurance. The judge refused the states’ request to issue an injunction immediately blocking 2010 law that was championed by Democratic former President Barack Obama from being enforced.

The White House on Friday said the law would remain in effect pending any appeal.

http://reuters.com

Wage floor for Uber's ride-hail drivers

The goal is to pay drivers $17.22 an hour, or $15 an hour after expenses like gas.

The New York City council passed first-of-its-kind legislation this afternoon setting a wage floor for ride-hail drivers and capping the number of ride-hail vehicles in the city. Below, our story from before the historic vote.

Uber drivers make about as much money as minimum wage workers.

In some cases they can even make less. That’s because Uber drivers are considered independent contractors, rather than employees, and aren’t protected under federal, state, and local minimum wage laws.

Uber drivers aren’t being recognized as employees (that legal battle is ongoing). But in New York City, the city council is poised to pass a package of bills that, for the first time ever, would set a wage floor for Uber drivers and their peers in the ride-hail industry.
https://qz.com/

Amazon Makes $1 Billion Splash in Health Care, Buying PillPack

Formidable challenge to pharmacy chains 

Amazon.com Inc. is buying its way into the heart of the U.S. health-care system, instantly shaking up a prescription-drug industry already in the midst of a broader transformation. Insurance companies and drug-benefit managers have struck a series of deals in recent months designed in part to thwart a potential big splash in the health world from Amazon. But the online retail giant’s decision to buy online pharmacy PillPack rapidly accelerates the threat posed to entrenched retailers, suppliers and middlemen.
Most immediately, the move represents a formidable challenge to pharmacy chains including Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. and CVS Health Corp., the two largest drugstore chains in the U.S. Walgreens shares sank 8.5 percent at 10:49 a.m. in New York, while CVS shares shed 8.9 percent.
https://www.bloomberg.com/

The shipping industry is back

Indicator of the health of the global economy

90 percent of today’s global trade is carried by ship. The importance of shipping is why it’s one of the most useful indicators of the health of the global economy… And, more recently, the state of China’s economy – the largest consumer of a range of commodities, including iron ore, coal, copper, and zinc, and the largest importer of oil.
The Baltic Dry Index (BDI) tracks the price of shipping raw materials such as metals, grains and fossil fuels by sea. It takes into account the day-to-day changes in shipping rates for the three major carrier sizes: Capesize, Panamax and Supramax.
Shipping companies committed a classic boom/bust cycle mistake back in 2011. At the height of the commodity boom, they ordered a huge number of cargo ships. Global shipping capacity continued to expand by approximately a net 2.5 percent rate each and every year. Meanwhile, according to the World Bank, global trade of goods and services has declined by 7 percent from 2011 to 2016, as commodity prices collapsed.
https://www.businessinsider.com/

Driverless cars similar to antibiotics says Carlos Ghosn

We’re Five Years From Safe, Driverless Cars For All

Carlos Ghosn, CEO of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance,  has detailed the impact of the driverless car on human daily lives (Interview at BFMTV). There are between 1,3 million and 1,4 million death on roads every year in the world. The driverless car will eliminate 90% of the fatal accidents.
https://www.forbes.com/

Medicare for All

Poll Says Majority of Americans Prefer ‘Medicare For All’ Health Care

A growing number of Americans now support the idea of federally-funded healthcare, according to a new poll conducted by Gallup measuring response to each of the three remaining Presidential candidates’ proposed healthcare policies.
When presented with three different scenarios for the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), based on the candidates’ positions, 58 percent of U.S. adults favored Sen. Bernie Sanders‘ idea of replacing the law with a single-payer, federally-funded healthcare system that provides insurance for all Americans.
For this poll, Gallup surveyed a random sample of 1,549 adults between May 6 and May 8 of this year about which of the three candidates’ healthcare policies they preferred, without using any of their names. The majority expressed a preference for Sanders’ proposal to replace the ACA with some form of the “Medicare for All” system, compared to Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton‘s proposal to maintain the ACA and presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump‘s proposal to repeal it.
http://abcnews.go.com

Despite Trump's attacks, Obamacare sign-ups dip only slightly

Millions of Americans opted to sign up for coverage on the exchanges for 2018 anyway

Some 11.8 million people selected plans on the federal and state-based exchanges, down 3.7% from last year, according to the National Academy for State Health Policy. The data, released Wednesday, provides the first look at sign-ups for 2018 nationwide. Just over 8.7 million people signed up on the federal exchange, while a little over 3 million picked plans in the 11 states and District of Columbia, which run their own marketplaces. Obamacare advocates had feared that sign-ups would plummet after the Trump administration cut the open enrollment period in half, slashed advertising by 90% and reduced support for enrollment assistance. Also, insurers hiked premiums for many plans amid the uncertainty in Washington, D.C. and President Trump’s elimination of funding for Obamacare’s cost-sharing subsidies. However, in a strange twist, richer federal premium subsidies actually made coverage more affordable for many people.

http://money.cnn.com...  Febuary 08, 2018

"Brexit is stupidest thing any country has done"

Michael Bloomberg says it is ‘hard to understand why a country doing so well wanted to ruin it’

Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire media mogul and former mayor of New York, has said Brexit is the “single stupidest thing any country has ever done” apart from the election of Donald Trump as US president.
Bloomberg argued that “it is really hard to understand why a country that was doing so well wanted to ruin it” with the Brexit vote, in a series of outspoken remarks made at a technology conference in Boston a fortnight ago.
At that event, Bloomberg, 75, also warned that some workers at the financial media company that bears his name were asking to leave the UK and US because they think the two countries no longer like immigrants and are no longer welcoming.
http://www.theguardian.com…  Wed  25  October 2017

BREXIT will hit strongly The City

Brexit may lead to half of City’s EU workers leaving UK

More than half of EU nationals currently working in investment management in the UK are not confident they will continue working in the country after Brexit, a report from the CFA Society UK reveals.
CFA UK’s survey of 1,100 professionals found that City workers regardless of nationality feel their job security is under threat as a result of Brexit, with just 43% of EU nationals and 52% of non-EU international employees feeling their job is secure. By comparison, 60% of British national respondents feel that their job is secure. According to CFA UK, the respondents’ views “are likely to have been impacted by their sense of job security in the current climate”.
http://www.investmentweek.co.uk…  Wed.,  18  October 2017

Raising trade tensions between Europe and China

Complaint against dumping of e-bikes by Chinese companies

European producers of electronic bikes (e-bikes) have filed a complaint with the European Commission against cheap Chinese e-bike imports, saying that they are sold in the bloc at excessively low prices with the help of unfair subsidies. The European Bicycle Manufacturers Association (EBMA) lodged the complaint alleging dumping of e-bikes by Chinese companies which they say are flooding the market at prices sometimes below the cost of production. The Commission has until late October to determine whether to start an investigation.

The EBMA is also preparing a related complaint alleging illegal subsidies and asking for registration of Chinese e-bike imports, which could allow eventual duties to be backdated. Such an investigation would be the latest in a string of probes into Chinese exports ranging from solar panels to steel and could raise trade tensions with Beijing, particularly with a subsidy inquiry into the support provided by the Chinese state.

http://www.reuters.com…  Mon.,  02  October 2017

Social Rights for 'gig economy' workers

EU seeks more protection for Uber-style jobs

The European Commission wants more social protection and rights for casual workers, such as those in the “gig economy”, and others with non-standard contracts to try to tackle growing social inequality.

The Commission’s consultation document on these plans, seen by Reuters, is part of a broader reworking of the EU’s economic priorities, after pressure from populist forces that accuse Brussels of having pursued ultra-liberal policies to the detriment of wo

http://www.reuters.comMon.,  25  September 2017