Spiderman – Everyday Hero

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You don’t need Spidey sense to be a superhero.

In “Philips Everyday Hero,” part of an Australian campaign for Royal Philips by Ogilvy & Mather London, a disheveled guy leaps out of bed, consumes a hasty breakfast (in the shower!) and wrestles into a Spider-Man suit before struggling to get across town.

The action is set to an acoustic cover of Paul McCartney and John Lennon’s “Revolution.” It follows Spider-Man through sometimes thankless acts of everyday do-gooding, and concludes with “Make a Wish”-level warmth.

“Inspired by a true story, we tell the story of a window cleaner who dresses as Spider-Man to entertain ill children,” explains Eva Barrett, Philips’ global head of brand advertising. “He believes that cheering them up helps them recover faster: Sometimes laughter is the best medicine. It’s a wonderful example of how empathy and insight into people can make a difference. His ethos reflects ours; we wanted to celebrate it.”

The ad ends with the lines, “At Philips we see healthcare differently. There’s always a way to make life better.” As these words appear, a boy in a hospital gown approaches the window and presses his hand to Spider-Man’s. Other children join him.

Aimed at healthcare professionals, the spot hopes to change brand perception by illustrating how Philips puts people at the heart of its healthcare strategy. In spirit, the work echoes a recent ad by Saint-Vincent-de-Paul, which is recruiting elderly care volunteers by demonstrating that loneliness can’t be assuaged with robots. Like that piece, this ad emphasizes the importance of the human touch amid technological disruption.

“We start with people,” Barrett says. “We want to improve people’s lives through meaningful innovation.”

The campaign includes a 30-second TV spot, out-of-home, digital and social media. Editorial partnerships have been inked with the Australian Financial Review and the Guardian Australia. On “Innovation and You,” Philips’ own storytelling platform, the brand is sharing other true stories like this one (it notably leads with an enormous visual of a man dressed like Elvis).

“Many people have grown up with Philips,” Barrett goes on. “We’re over 120 years old, but most people aren’t aware of the groundbreaking work we’re undertaking in healthcare. We believe in delivering products and solutions that truly put people at the heart of healthcare, and improve patient outcomes. Our ‘Everyday Hero’ campaign shows how we find new ways to make healthcare better.”

ObamaCare Delay – Good Thing or Bad? Depends on Who You Ask…

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This week the White House announced a delay for the Affordable Healthcare Act provision requiring businesses with at least 50 full-time employees to provide health insurance by the start of the new year.  Republicans screamed, “See! I told you there were problems!” so loudly, they drowned out the explanations of the White House, altogether.  Which were two-fold.  

The first, they say, allows them to “cut red tape and simplify the reporting process.” The second, “gives businesses more time to comply.”  

While we’re buying that explanation the Republicans aren’t.  They continue to be the party of obstructionists, blocking funding and maintaining their Fire-Aim-Ready mentality at every turn.  Never a benefit of the doubt – always quick to criticize for the sake of political posturing.  

We felt this USA Today article made a strong case for our argument.  What do you think?   

From the USA Today Editorial Board

ObamaCare Delay Hints at Deeper Troubles: USA Today’s View

President Obama signed his ambitious health reform plan into law more than three years ago. Let’s say that again: more than three years ago.

When Obama signed the law on March 23, 2010, everyone knew that all but the smallest businesses would be required to offer their employees health insurance by Jan. 1, 2014. But now, not unlike a college student who hasn’t used his time wisely, the White House says it needs an extension.

On Tuesday, the administration put off for a year the provision that requires any business with at least 50 full-time employees to provide health insurance for workers or pay a penalty of $2,000 per employee. That wasn’t the first delay: Earlier this year, the White House put off another provision that would have affected the way employees could buy insurance on health exchanges.

This might just be what the White House says it is – a smart and needed pause to allow officials and businesses to refine complicated rules that govern how the mandate will work. And in at least one way it might be smart politics for Democrats. It buys temporary peace with businesses that deeply dislike the mandate and have threatened to slash workers or reduce them to part-time status to avoid the insurance requirement. The disruptive change will now kick in after next year’s congressional elections.

In another way, though, the delay is an indicator of deeper troubles that lie just ahead. “This is a clear acknowledgment that the law is unworkable,” declared House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. No it’s not – but indications have been mounting for months that implementation, beginning just three months from now — is going to be rocky and potentially unpopular.

Even ObamaCare supporters worry that the administration isn’t nearly ready to meet the deadline for getting health exchanges, where people will choose their insurance, up and running by Oct. 1 and the rest of the law in place on Jan. 1. And whenever the exchanges are ready, some people are likely to see huge rate increases, particularly if young people opt to pay a $95 penalty rather than participate. Insurers have been predicting that outcome for months.

Meanwhile, fervent Republican attempts to make the law fail are compounding the administration’s shortcomings. The Republicans have refused to set up exchanges in some states, blocked funding for implementation and tried to inhibit administration attempts to help people understand what’s coming.

Introducing a program this big was always going to be bumpy. Even the much-simpler introduction of Medicare drug coverage during he Bush administration got off to a very rough and unpopular start. But in the end, it proved both popular and necessary.

ObamaCare has the same characteristics. Perfecting it will take years, but it’s far better than the alternative, which is to see more and more people lose their insurance as costs rise to unaffordability.

The business mandate in particular makes perfect sense because the goal from the start was to preserve the American model – long supported by both parties — in which most people get their coverage from their employers. Adding a mandate that employers provide coverage disrupts a race to the bottom — in which businesses feel compelled to reduce or eliminate coverage as a cost-cutting measure to remain competitive.

In practical terms, though, this is not the most important part of the new law. Most small businesses have fewer than 50 employees and won’t be required to provide coverage. Studies show most companies larger than that already provide coverage: 98% of companies with more than 200 workers, and 94% of companies with 50 to 199 workers (though smaller companies don’t always offer coverage to every employee).

That said, in a nation where 50 million people are without insurance, businesses – including the restaurants and retailers who have led the resistance to the employer mandate — will play an important role in the push for full coverage. It was galling to hear their leaders cheer the delay, and it’s unclear whether they’ll change their tune even after their complaints about the process are resolved.

USA TODAY’s editorial opinions are decided by its Editorial Board, separate from the news staff. Most editorials are coupled with an opposing view — a unique USA TODAY feature.

Shepherd’s Hope – Call To Hope

Social Discussion was proud to be a part of ‘Call To Hope’ last week – Shepherd’s Hope Fundraising Breakfast in Orlando, Florida, which raised over $170,000. Check out the video we put together for their event. And please read this article from Scott Maxwell of the Orlando Sentinel.

On Health Care, Some Yap While Others Act
April 20, 2013|Scott Maxwell

Last week, I watched two groups of people hold passionate discussions about health care.

During one, doctors, pastors and patients swapped stories of inspiration and altruism, urging everyone to help as many people as possible.

During the other, politicians tried to persuade one another to help fewer. A plan was afoot to help 1 million people. But most of the politicians wanted to scale the help back — by as much as 90 percent.

At one, attendees talked about a moral obligation to help their fellow man and serve a higher power.

At the other, leaders demonstrated their desire to seek higher office.

The first event was a fundraiser for Shepherd’s Hope — a faith-based model of providing health care to Central Floridians that has become a national role model.

The other was the legislative session in Tallahassee, where politicians are scrambling for excuses to turn away billions of dollars in federal money to provide health care for the poor.

Both groups of people often quote Scripture.

Only one of them lives the Gospel.

Shepherd’s Hope is one of Central Florida’s homegrown triumphs.

Sixteen years ago, the Rev. Bill Barnes of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church felt called to help the sick and needy around him — in a big way.

Through the years, Barnes’ vision blossomed into a network of four clinics, staffed by more than 2,000 volunteers. Doctors, nurses, office workers, assistants and more.

They now serve more than 20,000 patients a year. And the success stories will bring tears to your eyes. A former executive, hit hard by the recession, lost her job and house, then learned she had cancer. A woman who experienced rapid weight gain — only to have doctors at Shepherd’s Hope discover she had a 32-pound ovarian tumor.

They are stories of lives saved.

And when a roomful of health-care execs, business leaders, philanthropists and concerned citizens heard those stories in the ballroom at Church Street Station last Thursday morning, they responded with more than $170,000 in donations.

Now, the cavalier may simply say: Good, that’s the way it should be. Private donations should serve that need.

Such a convenient sentiment.

The reality is that, no matter how hard Shepherd’s Hope works, the line of patients at the clinics far exceeds the number that can be served on any given evening. They are often single moms who pulled their kids out of school early, hoping to see a doctor who might tell them why their little one can’t hear or breathe properly.

That is why compassionate societies provide safety nets. It is also why this country has twice voted for a president who vowed to address that problem.

Yet leaders in Florida are fighting that initiative tooth and nail.

Florida House leaders are trying to reject federal money — more than $50 billion meant to help cover 1 million people.

Instead, they want to spend state money and cover as few as 100,000 people.

Yes, they want to spend more of Florida taxpayers’ dollars to help fewer people.

That’s not just morally objectionable. It’s fiscally irresponsible.

Even Gov. Rick Scott — a vocal critic of “Obamacare” — agrees. With the money available, Scott said: “I cannot, in good conscience, deny the uninsured access to care.”

Unfortunately, no such attack of conscience has struck Florida House members — who pay $8 a month in individual premiums for one of the most generous health-care plans in America.

In fact, House Speaker Will Weatherford declared himself “excited” about the plan to help 90 percent fewer Floridians.

It was an odd emotion for man whose family received $100,000 in public health-care benefits back when Weatherford was young and his brother was battling terminal brain cancer.

Weatherford actually mentioned his family’s help in a speech — before he realized that the money came, in part, from the same Medicaid source he is now fighting to keep from other Floridians. Weatherford’s father had to help correct the record.

This is also, by the way, a jobs issue. When you’re talking about $50 billion, you are talking about money spent in the health-care industry — where jobs pay well.

What’s more, Moody’s Investor Service recently reported that states refusing to expand Medicaid could threaten the bond ratings and financial stability of some hospitals.

Yet, many House Republicans — not their Senate peers, mind you — seem to care little about the actual finances of the matter. And certainly not about the lives at stake. All they want to do is rant about “Obamacare.”

I’ll take my sermons from the folks at Shepherd’s Hope, thank you very much.

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