Health Insurance Follies: Blue Shield California twice refused to pay $2,700 emergency room claims by Rosalinda Miran-Ramirez, concluding that it was not a "reasonable" decision for her to go to the ER that morning when she awoke to a shirt saturated with blood from what turned out to be a breast tumor. Only after a KPIX-TV reporter intervened in September did Blue Shield pay the claim.
National Women's Law Center found that the laws of eight states permit insurance companies to deny health coverage to a battered spouse (as a "pre-existing condition," since batterers tend to be recidivists), according to a September report by Kaiser Health News.
Child "Protection" Caseworkers: In November 2008, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services returned an infant to her mother's care two weeks after the woman had, according to police, left her in a toilet bowl. (Three months later, following further investigation, the woman was charged with attempted murder, and the baby was taken away.)
Texas child agency caseworkers assigned a low priority (non-"immediate" risk) after a home visit in May in Arlington revealed that a violent, long-troubled mother routinely left three children, ages 6, 5 and 1, home alone all day while she was at work. In September, the 1-year-old was found dead.
On Aug. 28, a suicide bomber approached Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, intending to kill them both using a new, mysterious device that an al-Qaida video had earlier proclaimed would be impossible to detect. The terrorist blew up only himself, though, and security investigators concluded that his "bomb" was a 3-inch-long explosive hidden in his rectum. A Transportation Security Administration official downplayed the puny power of such a small device (but its effectiveness in bringing down an airplane is still an open question).