Health insurers around the world collectively hold $4.5 billion worth of tobacco industry stock, according to a new study. The Consumerist has great highlights on the story, including this killer quote from the study's co-author, David Himmelstein, "[It's] the combined taxidermist and veterinarian approach: either way you get your dog back." Also: Toronto's Sun Life financial lied and said it didn't have any tobacco stock -- it has over $1 billion.
Health insurers want you to keep smoking, Harvard doctors say
Why is it a big deal? "If you own a billion dollars [of tobacco stock], then you don't want to see it go down," says Himmelstein, "You are less likely to join anti-tobacco coalitions, endorse anti-tobacco legislation, basically, anything most health companies would want to participate in."...
But with $4.5 billion still invested in Big Tobacco, many insurers are reaping profits from a cancer-causing industry. As Himmelstein puts it, "Is this who we want running our healthcare system?"
(Image: cigarette, a Creative Commons Attribution photo from SuperFantastic's Flickr stream)
NZ Prime Minister John Key is a racist blowhard who has smeared the opposition parties of “backing the rapists” for their support of NZ citizens with minor criminal convictions (not sexual assault, incidentally) being deported from Australia, where they have been imprisoned.
Last May, Jackie Burns, the deputy leader of the Labour Council in South Lanarkshire in Scotland, voted to close all public toilets as part of the Scottish government’s £22 million cost-cutting programme; early last Saturday morning, police issued him a £40 ticket for pissing in public. (via Reddit)
In a decision that environmental activists see as a hard-won victory, President Obama today announced he is rejecting the request from a Canadian company to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline. The news ends a seven-year review process that was a focal point in the debate over the Obama administration’s climate policies.
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