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Posts Tagged ‘health insurance’

Backlash Against Wendy’s, Taco Bell for Cutting Hours and Blaming Obamacare

Few things grab the public’s attention like a celebrity-backed boycott, protest, or backlash against a specific brand or company. Today, Wendy’s and Taco Bell find themselves on the wrong end of just this sort of upheaval.

Roughly 100 Wendy’s employees in the Omaha, Nebraska area will have their weekly schedules reduced to 28 hours a week so that they will no longer qualify for the health care benefits that “Obamacare” mandates for full-time employees. A Taco Bell in Guthrie, Oklahoma enacted a similar policy.

Even though these underhanded approaches seem unique to these specific franchises, the backlash against the Wendy’s and Taco Bell corporations has been swift. Celebrities like Castle star Nathan Fillion and comedian Sarah Silverman voiced their outrage via Twitter, and many people pledged to avoid not just those specific locations, but all restaurants owned by the chains in question.

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Update: Weber Shandwick to Promote Federal Insurance Exchanges

Earlier this week we posted on the deal that Ogilvy PR Worldwide signed to promote the new health insurance law in the state of California.

Now we have a piece of follow-up news: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has hired Weber Shandwick to “raise awareness” about the other state-based healthcare insurance exchanges–those that will be managed by the federal government.

Here’s the lowdown: these exchanges are essentially virtual marketplaces enabling citizens to compare and choose between competing providers’ plans, and they’re one of the central components of The Affordable Care Act, which requires states to create them by January 2013. In states that do not set up exchanges by that date, the federal government will create its own “federally facilitated” exchanges by default—and these are the exchanges to be promoted by Weber Shandwick.

Here’s the challenge: To date, only 13 states and the District of Columbia have agreed to manage their own exchanges.

This is a particularly big get for Shandwick, which was recently named PR News’s “Digital Firm of the Year” just after winning the title of “Global PR Firm of the Year” via The Holmes Report.

The future of the insurance exchange project will be interesting to say the least.