Second, Jolie’s announcement obviously boosted the Myriad stock, at least in the short term. So, a reporter who wants to offer a real-world lesson on the law of insider trading (complete with a photo that’s more attractive than the usual law professor head shot), ought to ask experts if Jolie or any of her friends or her doctors would have been guilty of insider trading had they bought the Myriad stock before her announcement. (My guess is that because insider trading prohibitions have to do with abusing information that one has a duty to keep secret, the doctor would be liable, because he has a fiduciary responsibility to keep Jolie’s medical information secret. But Jolie herself wouldn’t be liable, because she has no such obligation to keep her own information private.)

Third, it turns out that under Obamacare’s rules, the Myriad gene tests, at $3,000 each, must be covered 100 percent by insurance companies. How great is that if you’re a Myriad shareholder? There can be no co-pays or deductibles, because it is considered preventive care.

This means that if Myriad wins its Supreme Court case it not only has a protected monopoly on the test, but it can also charge whatever it wants without any patient caring. I’d love to see a reporter’s account of how Myriad lobbied that one — and what the party was like the night they won it.


Steven Brill , the author of Class Warfare: Inside the Fight To Fix America’s Schools, has written for magazines including New York, The New Yorker, Time, Harper's, and The New York Times Magazine. He founded and ran Court TV, The American Lawyer magazine, ten regional legal newspapers, and Brill's Content magazine. He also teaches journalism at Yale, where he founded the Yale Journalism Initiative.