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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
Big tech platforms have a persistent problem with inaccurate anti-vaccination content, and they're under mounting pressure to do something about it, Axios' Sara Fischer and Kia Kokalitcheva write this morning.
The big picture: Tech companies prefer not to serve as content arbiters, but the real-world harm in this case — namely, measles outbreaks — is prompting at least some companies to take a second look at anti-vaccine messaging.
What they're doing:
Purdue Pharma intentionally decided not to correct doctors' misperceptions about the strength of OxyContin, according to a deposition obtained by ProPublica.
Why it matters: There's a mountain of evidence piling up, even in public, that suggests the Sackler family knew its product was highly addictive, but blew past any concerns about that fact in search of higher and higher profits, helping to create the opioid epidemic.
Related: Former FDA commissioner David Kessler told "60 Minutes" that the agency shouldn't have allowed opioids to be marketed for long-term use.
A nonprofit company in Michigan filed a lawsuit this week against Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Axios' Bob Herman reports, alleging the health insurance company "illegally skimmed" extra money from the company in the form of "hidden fees."
Why it matters: Most employers are self-insured, including the one in this lawsuit, which means they pay workers' medical claims and hire insurers to do back-end work. But hiring insurers also leads to other various fees for employers, some of which may go unnoticed.
This isn't a new legal problem for BCBS of Michigan. Hundreds of companies in the state have sued the insurer over hidden fees, which were secretly embedded in hospital and physician claims between 1994 and 2012. A 2014 federal ruling said BCBS of Michigan violated federal employment benefits law.
What they're saying: "This lawsuit dates back to issues from more than 20 years ago and pre-date many of us at Blue Cross," a BCBS of Michigan spokeswoman said in a statement. "We are of course disappointed when parties go to court because we prefer to resolve these matters by working with customers."
The bottom line: If you are a self-insured company, it won't hurt to audit your health insurance provider for any omitted charges.
The New York Times reports that experts from the U.S. played a role in the Chinese government's use of DNA samples to keep tabs on its Uighur population — the largely Muslim ethnic group whose members the government has also forced into camps.
Details, per the NYT:
An American company, Thermo Fisher, supplied the equipment the Chinese government used to conduct the testing, per the Times.
Roughly 4 Medicare beneficiaries die every minute, according to new data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Yes, but: More Americans continue to enroll in the program, totaling 58.5 million people in 2017. Ever-increasing enrollments are due in large part to the sustained influx of baby boomers and increasing life expectancy.