INDIA ABROAD May 19, 2017 16 U.S. AFFAIRS
By Bhargavi Kulkarni
chairman Ajit Pai has
managed to attract
several critics because
of his stance on net neutrality
and the list keeps on growing.
Now Pai can add comedian
John Oliver’s name to that list.
The host of HBO’s “Last
Week Tonight,” has lambasted
the conservative Pai, who is
working on undoing Obama-era
regulations which will force
internet providers to behave
more like traditional telephone
companies, making it illegal for
them to block or slow websites.
Oliver also mocked Pai for
his “serial-killer talk” about
taking a weed-whacker to regulations and for presenting himself as a “fun, down-to-earth
nerd” who frequently quotes
from the film, “The Big
Lebowski,” and uses an oversized Reese’s Peanut Butter
Cup novelty coffee mug.
Calling the internet “an
incredible place,” Oliver said it
is “the repository of all human
knowledge — and goats singing
Taylor Swift songs.”
But, he claimed, that very
essence is threatened by the
Trump administration’s deci-
sion to roll back protections for
Oliver said Pai’s suggestion
that ISPs could simply promise
not to obstruct or slow con-
sumer access to websites in
their terms of services would
make net neutrality “as binding
as a proposal on ‘The
Pai, 44, who has
been named among
Time magazine’s 20
People in Tech, says
excessive regulations have discouraged innovation.
comedian guided his
website he and his team created, which redirects to the FCC
website for commenting.
As a result, the FCC website
was inundated with comments
on the morning of May 8 and
the traffic seemed to have
crashed the website.
However the FCC discounted
Oliver’s possible role. Instead,
it said the website was the tar-
get of an attack designed to
overwhelm it with
traffic and keep peo-
ple from comment-
ing on its proposals.
The FCC said the
attack prevented the
responding to people attempting to
since the night of
May 7, the agency
The FCC said in a statement
that its investigation shows the
site’s problems were caused by
a cyberattack, not by an influx
of people trying to file comments.
Oliver’s satirical current
events show is not known to
shy away from complex topics-drones, net neutrality, the NSA;
Oliver even landed an interview
with former NSA contractor
Edward Snowden last year.
Oliver has also had a brush
with the FCC before.
In 2014, he had asked his
viewers to comment on the
agency’s website about net
neutrality as it mulled its
The site crashed shortly
thereafter, apparently from the
influx of people reaching out to
then-Chairman Tom Wheeler
asking him to protect the principle of a free and open internet, The Washington Post
But Oliver is not the only one
who’s managed to irk the FCC.
Television host Stephen
Colbert’s controversial Trump
joke has also drawn Pai’s interest.
In an interview with Talk
Radio 1210 WPHT, the CBS
radio affiliate in Philadelphia,
Pai said the agency is investigating the “Late Show” host’s
remarks after receiving “a number” of complaints.
On May 1, Colbert unleashed
a host of insults at Trump, satirizing an interview with CBS
News that the president cut
short the day before.
The FCC is looking into the
matter to determine whether
the joke — which described
Trump’s supposed relationship
with Putin — should be consid-
With the FCC vote on net
neutrality scheduled for May
18, one has to wait and watch
to see if Oliver’s actions make a
difference. It’s a precarious situation, but the outcome is likely to have a big impact on the
tech industry and users alike.
It’s no Joke
John Oliver blasts Ajit Pai on net issues
to improve physician-patient
health care, including promoting the positive aspects of clinically integrated networks, which
can improve health care while
lowering its costs.
The meeting also discussed
medical liability reform with the
AAPI members calling on
Congress and urging influential
Republicans to convince the
Trump administration to enact
legislation to this effect.
“We are very focused in our
discussions, seeking assurances
and tangible action on the issues
that are our top priorities,” said
Dr. Sampat Shivangi, chair of
AAPI’s legislative affairs commit-
tee. He said the group’s annual
legislative day drew the largest
number of lawmakers and
turnout of AAPI members. “Of
course what is imperative now is
follow-up and for all of our
members to hold their respective
representatives’ feet to the fire,
particularly when they meet
with them in their districts.”
“It is so important that the
momentum and continued inter-
action with legislators and poli-
cymakers be maintained if our
issues and concerns are to be
addressed,” said Lodha.
AAPI also signed a coalition
letter led by the American
Medical Association to the
Deficit Reduction Committee,
which noted that the
Congressional Budget Office estimated the cost savings from
implementing medical liability
reform, including limits on non-economic damages, to be $62.4
billion over 10 years.
In the 112th Congress, the
“Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-cost, Timely Healthcare
(HEALTH) Act of 2011,” H.R. 5,
limited the conditions for lawsuits and punitive damages for
health care liability claims. It
established a statute of limitations and limited non-economic
damages to $250,000.
The AMA and AAPI have
argued that fewer physicians
today practice in areas such as
obstetrics and gynecology, surgery and emergency medicine,
due to increased lawsuits and
increasing malpractice insurance
AAPI members told the lawmakers that they support federal
and state legislation that places
effective caps on non-economic
damages, limits the use of joint-and-several liability, provides
physicians with flexibility to
negotiate settlements with medical insurers and further limits
the statute of limitations for filing medical malpractice claims.
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