Postings

Hands off the Medicare donut hole deal
Consumer Action joined a coalition of over 40 advocates in calling on Congress to reject any measures that would increase prescription drug costs for consumers, including rolling back the provisions in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 that make brand-name prescription drugs more affordable for people with Medicare—specifically the 70% discount required from pharmaceutical companies in the donut hole.

Health insurance tax would hit seniors hard
An approximate $22 billion health insurance tax (HIT) is scheduled to impact 20 million seniors and disabled individuals enrolled in Medicare Advantage in 2020. In a letter, coalition advocates urged Congress to delay the HIT for 2020, otherwise millions of American seniors and others with health insurance coverage could face a major premium increase, including $500 in additional annual premiums for the typical Medicare Advantage couple.

Modernizing Medicare education tools empowers seniors
Coalition advocates urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to continue its efforts to improve and enhance the information and decision-making tools available to Medicare beneficiaries, in order to better enable seniors to make informed decisions and become active choosers in their health coverage.

To reign in prescription costs, FDA should focus on drug manufacturers’ major abuses
In a letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), advocates called on Commissioner Gottlieb to end regulatory abuses by brand-name companies that block access to generic drugs. Brand name drug companies twist the FDA's rules to delay or inhibit consumer access to generic drugs, which gives the companies the power to charge unreasonable prices, and leads to greater healthcare costs.

The Choice Act 2.0 is the WRONG choice for consumers
Advocates are urging Congress to oppose the so-called Financial Choice Act 2.0, that aims to repeal parts and eviscerate parts of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, including the centerpiece Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The (Wrong) Choice Act would grind the CFPB to a halt by turning it into a gridlocked Commission, and eliminate its independent funding. This irresponsible assault takes all the worst ideas and combines them into one toxic package.

FACT Act punishes nation’s heroes, denies them support they deserve
As the House is poised to vote on a bill that would delay or deny justice for asbestos victims, the so-called FACT Act (H.R. 906), organizations representing the nation’s veterans, firefighters, emergency responders and teachers - populations who are most at risk from exposure to the deadly substance - have come out strong in opposition.

Monitoring availability and affordability of auto insurance requires key data
Consumer advocates have long argued that low-income drivers are price-gouged when it comes to car insurance quotes. In response, the Federal Insurance Office (FIO) set a standard that recognizes auto insurance as “unaffordable” when the average premium in a community exceeds two percent of the community's median household income. The FIO is also preparing to publish its first report on auto insurance affordability with help from the insurance industry. Advocates are urging the FIO to require mandatory participation from some of the biggest insurance companies, instead of relying on the companies’ voluntary submission of data. The group also asks the office to evaluate premiums at the zip code level to ensure the affordability analysis accurately represents the cost of insurance around the nation.

Consumers have a right to their day in court
Forced arbitration clauses are agreements that large corporations often hide in the fine print of contracts that Americans sign every day. These clauses have big consequences: By restricting access to the court system, these clauses prevent consumers who have been wronged from seeking meaningful legal recourse. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has proposed a new rule that will prohibit financial services companies and big businesses from including provisions in their fine-print agreements that prevent class-action lawsuits. It's a good start toward unraveling the growing stranglehold that forced arbitration has on consumer rights.

Congress must keep health markets competitive
As detailed in the letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, the proposed mergers between Anthem and Cigna and Aetna and Humana will reduce the number of major health insurers from five to three and will pose the threat of substantial harm to millions of consumers. Consumer Action joins advocates in urging the Subcommittee to investigate the mergers and the impact consolidation will have on the healthcare market.

Policy riders threaten vital public safeguards, hijack budget process
A coalition of 178 groups is urging President Barack Obama and all 535 members of Congress to oppose any federal appropriations bill that contains inappropriate and ideological policy riders. These riders would jeopardize policies that restrain Wall Street abuses; guarantee clean air, food and water; ensure safe consumer products and continued access to vital health care services; keep homes and workplaces safe; prevent consumer rip-offs; and hold big corporations accountable for wrongdoing.

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