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Consumer Confidential: Spirit strike, health-care woes, soda taxes

June 14, 2010 | 10:13 am

Here's your Dial-M-for-Monday roundup of consumer news from around the Web:

-- Spirit Airlines, which flies twice daily out of LAX, has canceled all flights through Wednesday because its pilots are on strike. Flyboys (and gals) at the discount carrier say they aren't paid as much as their counterparts at other cheapo airlines. Spirit is offering put-upon passengers $100 plus credit for future flights. Spirit has pioneered ugly little fees, including up to $45 fee for carry-on bags. Anyone want to bet that if they end up paying their pilots more, the money will come out of our pockets?

-- We haven't spoken here about heath care in a while. Here's a study that reminds us why change is needed: Millions of cancer survivors put off medical care because they can't afford it, according to research by Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. The study says more than 2 million of 12 million U.S. adult cancer survivors didn't get one or more needed medical services, even though cancer survivors tend to have more health problems than other people. About 10% said they had to forgo needed prescriptions -- again because of cost. Just saying.

-- And this just in: Coca-Cola's chief financial officer says the sugar-water industry must band together to fight taxes on soda. "We're an easy target as an industry, and this is one where we're all going to have to pull together and work diligently because it's a threat," Gary Fayard said at an industry conference. Some lawmakers see soda taxes as a way to raise revenue and help reduce the obesity epidemic that is producing lots of fat people and straining our health-care system. To fight that, the industry spent $5.4 million during the first three months of the year lobbying against such legislation. Nice to see them putting society's interests first.

-- David Lazarus

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