The country's largest private health insurer, UnitedHealth Group, is urging its 75,000 employees to phone their senators and write letters-to-the-editor to protest the inclusion of a public health insurance option in health reform legislation.
The health care consulting firm the Lewin Group says that 114 million people may lose their employer-sponsored health insurance if Congress includes a "public option" in its health reform plan. Several Republican Congress members recently cited the figure in opposing a public health insurance option.
It's an alarming statistic, but it's not true.
Several newspapers reported in late January on the death of Horace R. Kornegay, Jr., who served as the Executive Director of the Tobacco Institute from 1969 to 1986. Mr. Kornegay's passing was little noticed, but he was one of the more notable opponents of public health measures in American history.
Kelmenson, Davis & Associates (KDA), a marketing advisory firm with ties to the automobile industry, is trying to raise $50 million a year to spend on fixing the image of Detroit's Big Three auto companies "via public relations and a cable TV documentary," plus "an informational magazine and website called 'American Drive,'" reports Jean Halliday.
Advertisers are increasingly writing swear words into television commercial scripts just so they can bleep them out.
When the major American tobacco companies signed the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement with the 46 states who sued to recover the costs of treating sick smokers, the companies agreed to nominal advertising restrictions and massive yearly payouts to the states.
You've heard the term "greenwashing." It refers to corporations that try to appear "green" without reducing their negative impact on the environment.
Since 2002, the group Breast Cancer Action has promoted its "Think Before You Pink" campaign. It's fighting "pinkwashing," which is when corporations try to boost sales by associating their products with the fight against breast cancer. Pinkwashing is a form of slacktivism -- a campaign that makes people feel like they're helping solve a problem, while they're actually doing more to boost corporate profits. Pinkwashing has been around for a while, but is now reaching almost unbelievable levels.
Recently while browsing the Web I came across UrbanDictionary.com, which is sort of a wiki of contemporary slang. I found some of the newer words listed there amusing, like "hobosexual" (the opposite of metrosexual; someone who cares little about their looks), "consumerican," ("a particularly American brand of consumerism"), and "wikidemia" ("an academic work passed off as scholarly yet researched entirely on Wikipedia").