Tag Archives: health care

Smoking

That’s a picture of a typical Argentine pack of cigarettes. Pretty strong. The text reads, “Tobacco smoke chokes them and makes them sick,” referring to babies.

I haven’t really seen statistics on labeling like this, but I imagine that it has a tangible effect on smoking. The girl who bought these cigarettes transferred them to another pack without a sick baby on front because it bothered her so much.

The US should really consider stronger labeling. Smoking is a big public health issue and causes a lot of unnecessary medical spending. Let’s put our wasted teen anti-smoking campaign ad money to work on coming up with startling labels. Why not put a phone number to a quit smoking line on there too?

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My Thoughts On Obama’s Speech

My NYULocal colleague Ned wrote the post about this for the site, so here are my thoughts:

It was a good speech. Perhaps a very good speech. This was certainly the best I’ve seen Obama in a long time – forceful, clear, and working the angles he needed to in order to wrestle the narrative back into the White House’s hands. He threw out some red meat for liberal Democrats, directly calling Republicans out on their lies and bringing up the Iraq War and “tax cuts for the wealthy.” He played to his “bipartisanship” strengths and may have made it much easier to point at the GOP as obstructionist, not populist. Yet, he offered concessions to the right as well – tort reform, an “open door” policy, and flexibility on the public option (Olympia Snowe looked happy). He also positioned himself as centrist by throwing Wyden-Bennett and single-payer under the bus – bad policy, but good politics.

There was no major policy shift – his plan largely tracks what’s already in the works. But he offered a plan. And he delivered the key policy points with much more clarity and with less professorial wonkery. I thought his Ted Kennedy segment at the end was very strong.

Will this change much? Maybe not public opinion, but I think the media narrative will swing pro-reform after the long, anti-reform August.

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