ST. LOUIS — With the Trump administration again taking aim at the Affordable Care Act, Centene will spend more than $15 billion on rival WellCare Health Plans, both big players in the ACA market.The deal Wednesday comes two days day after the administration attacked the ACA in court, saying that former President Barack Obama’s health care law should be declared unconstitutional after Congress repealed one part of it — unpopular fines on people who remain uninsured.The deal would create a powerhouse medical provider in Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act marketplace with about 22 million members in the U.S. It will have more than 12 million Medicaid and approximately 5 million Medicare members, including the Medicare prescription drug plan.The transaction includes 3.38 shares of Centene stock and $120 in cash for each share of WellCare stock, or $305.39 per WellCare share. That’s about a 32 per cent premium to WellCare’s Tuesday closing stock price. The companies put the deal’s value at $17.3 billion.Shares of WellCare jumped more than 14 per cent before the market open on Wednesday. Centene’s stock declined 5.5 per cent.Centene Corp. shareholders will own about 71 per cent of the business, with WellCare shareholders owning approximately 29 per cent.The combined company’s board will have 11 members, with nine from Centene’s board and two from WellCare’s board. Centene Chairman and CEO Michael Neidorff will serve in those roles after the combination.The combined business will be based in St. Louis, where Centene is headquartered. It will continue to support WellCare’s operations in Florida. WellCare is based in Tampa.The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2020. It still needs approval from Centene and Wellcare Health Plans Inc. shareholders.The Associated Press read more

TORONTO — Kerr’s Candy social media team is defending the company’s Molasses Kisses treats on Twitter after a newspaper derided it as “the worst Halloween candy.”Kerr’s, which was founded in 1895, promotes the kisses on its website as “traditional Halloween taffy” and says the candies contain 10 per cent real molasses. The company’s used the same recipe to make them for more than 70 years.“They get stuck to the wrapper, they get stuck to your teeth and it’s got this weird earthy taste that’s disgusting to almost everyone under the age of 65,” said Tristin Hopper, a National Post reporter, in a video originally published two years ago.The Post republished the video Thursday with an article by Hopper reasserting his claim and lamenting that the kisses have yet to meet their demise.Twitter users took to Kerr’s Candy social media feed with their take on the article, and whoever is running the account is responding brazenly.“This Halloween don’t scare kids with that wretched Kerr’s molasses candy that you hated as a kid,” wrote one user who goes by Terry, linking to the article.Instead of ignoring the insult, Kerr’s responded with its own dose of sass.“You’re right, Terry, you should keep Molasses Kisses all to yourself. Don’t let the kids have the good candy!” the candy company’s account tweeted back.The response seemed to catch Terry off guard who said he “must respect (Kerr’s) persistence.”The company’s social media team is also doling out love to the candy’s supporters, sharing a GIF of Winnie the Pooh eagerly tying a napkin around his neck as he prepares to chow down on one.Kerr’s appears to be among the few companies who’ve found their voice on Twitter and attracted a following with a more personalized approach.Burger chain Wendy’s, for example, is well-known for roasting people (and competing fast food outlets) on Twitter.When one user recently asked the chain’s Twitter account what they should order at McDonald’s, the company answered “McNothing” and to another who asked the same question, “better at picking places to eat.”But, that approach doesn’t always work and can fall flat if companies try to insert themselves into a broader, serious conversation just to promote their product.In 2014, the hashtag WhyIStayed was trending as people explained the reasons why they remained with abusers.The DiGiorno Pizza account tweeted: “#WhyIStayed You had pizza.”The single tweet infuriated many who felt the company shouldn’t have tried to capitalize on the hashtag. The company deleted the offending tweet shortly afterward and explained they were not aware of the context behind the hashtag.More recently, Hudson’s Bay drew the ire of Twitter users in the wake of Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie’s death after posting a tweet that struck many as insensitive.“Here’s to the King of the Canadian Tuxedo. #RIPGordDownie,” the department store tweeted, along with an image of three denim jackets with brand labels prominently displayed, including one with a lining that featured HBC’s distinctive multi-coloured stripes.The tweet was removed a short time later.With files from Cassandra Szklarski read more