Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook and executives from 14 other technology companies have a meeting with President Obama today to talk about a couple of major concerns which have been in the news lately. Time was the first to publicize the meeting, which is expected to focus on the controversial spying programs run by the National Security Agency. The problems with the Obamacare website, Healthcare.gov, are also expected to be on the agenda.
NSA programs ruled potentially unconstitutional
On Monday, a federal judge decided that a phone data collection program is probably in violation of the U.S. Constitution. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and seven other technology companies published an open letter to President Obama and Congress last week protesting the extent of government surveillance programs and calling reforms.
The companies said the balance in many countries around the world is now too much in the favor of government and away from the individual rights which are encapsulated in the Constitution. In addition to Apple, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), AOL, Inc. (NYSE:AOL), LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD), Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) and Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) signed that open letter.
Healthcare.gov issues continue
Meanwhile problems with Healthcare.gov, known as the Obamacare website, continue today. President Obama apparently is planning to ask the nation’s top technology companies for advice about fixing the disastrous website. The deadlines connected with signing up for coverage continue to change as problems still plague the website less than a week before the deadline for consumers to sign up for coverage and pay their premium so that they can get insurance starting on Jan. 1. Some insurance companies have set their own deadlines about when the first premium must be paid, so consumers who are lucky enough to be able to enroll should check with their insurance company.
However, many consumers are still having problems even logging into Healthcare.gov, let along applying for insurance, because of an endless stream of glitches. Others are enrolling in coverage, only to find out that they can’t pay their first premium because the insurance company never received their application and enrollment. As a result, the insurance company has no way to bill them or accept their payment because it has no record of the person who signed up. Insurance companies have said they continue to receive applications from consumers with so many glitches in them that they cannot decipher the name of the person who signed up.
Apple, Twitter, Microsoft, Google among those attending today
In addition to these two hot topics, the companies and President Obama are expected to discuss how his administration can partner with the technology sector to spur more growth within the U.S. economy, create jobs and talk about income inequality as well as social mobility. Here’s the full list of technology executives who will be attending today’s meeting:
- Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook
- Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) VP and General Counsel Brad Smith
- Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) CEO Dick Costolo
- Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) CEO Reed Hastings
- salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE:CRM) Chief Legal Officer Burke Norton
- Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) Founder, Chief Product Officer and Chairman Mark Pincus
- Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt
- Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg
- LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary Erika Rottenberg
- AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson
- Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson
- Dropbox Founder and CEO Drew Houston
- Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts
- Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) President and CEO Marissa Mayer
- Sherpa Global Co-Founder and Co-CEO Shervin Pishevar