2020 Consumer Excellence Awards recognize three healthcare-related champions

Virtual awards ceremony to be held Sept. 30 at 3 p.m. ET

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For immediate release—Each year, Consumer Action presents three Consumer Excellence Awards as part of its annual anniversary celebration. On Wednesday, Sept. 30, with the 2020 theme of “Health Is Wealth,” the consumer education and advocacy organization will honor three health-related champions from the regulatory, nonprofit and media worlds. This year, Consumer Action will host its 49th Anniversary Consumer Excellence Awards online at 3 p.m. ET.

We are happy to provide a free code to media/press representatives. Registering will allow you to join our “Health and Financial Wealth” convening panels on Sept. 29 and 30 as well as the half-hour awards ceremony, if you wish.) To request your code, email editor AT consumer-action DOT org.

“We chose our theme and honorees before this pandemic altered our lives so irrevocably,” said Consumer Action Executive Director Ken McEldowney. “Now, as we, together as a nation, struggle to understand the vast socio-economic implications of COVID-19, these individuals and organizations are proving all the more indispensable to the health and financial wealth of our country. We salute our 2020 honorees for being there for all of us through this great crisis.”

Jessica Altman, Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner

In our “regulatory” category, Consumer Action is proud to recognize Jessica Altman, Pennsylvania’s forward-thinking and consumer-oriented state insurance commissioner. Commissioner Altman’s attention to the consumer interest is evident in her initiatives, such as warning consumers about the potentially damaging short-term health insurance plans that the current federal administration has allowed to be deployed on the market.

Other notable aspects of the Commissioner’s work include educating residents on the importance of flood insurance and fighting to have private-sector insurance included in the National Flood Insurance Program, bringing new opportunities, and even savings, to purchasers of flood insurance. On another front, Commissioner Altman worked closely with the Pennsylvania legislature to enact tougher annuity suitability standards to better protect consumers and seniors.

We applaud Commissioner Altman for her efforts to bring transparency and “robust, affordable” options for consumers to her state’s insurance market.

Guest presenter: Doug Heller, insurance expert for Consumer Federation of America

Families USA

In our “community” category, we recognize Families USA for its tireless efforts to identify solutions to improve healthcare coverage for our nation’s families; for engaging a broad network of stakeholders representing consumers and industry; and for its willingness to reach out to leaders on both sides of the aisle to tackle healthcare problems facing our nation. We applaud Families USA for fostering a diverse coalition of partners that can share best practices and strategies for expanding coverage for low-income people and other vulnerable populations and promote access to adequate healthcare coverage and health care for consumers of all socio-economic levels.

Consumer Action can speak firsthand to the huge influence of Families USA in the passage of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. (President Barack Obama himself credited Families USA with helping to implement and protect the historic health legislation.) Leading up to the Affordable Care Act, Consumer Action relied on Families USA’s expertise and leadership of the grassroots coalitions that won the most significant expansion of healthcare coverage since Medicare and Medicaid. Now, we follow its work closely in order to keep our constituents apprised of the latest developments in healthcare policy.

Accepted by: Frederick Isasi, executive director of Families USA

Guest presenter: David Balto, Law Offices of David A. Balto

Kaiser Health News

In our “media” category, we honor Kaiser Health News (KHN), the nonprofit news service committed to in-depth coverage of healthcare policy and politics. The organization’s comprehensive stories are published by news organizations throughout the country, and its website features daily summaries of major healthcare news.

Consumer Action applauds Kaiser Health News’s commitment to creating the best possible in-depth journalism about healthcare issues that, sadly, newspapers and other media organizations don’t always have the bandwidth to produce in this era of shrinking newsrooms and media consolidation.

We find the breadth and depth of the articles and investigative journalism produced by Kaiser Health News awe inspiring. From the COVID-19 pandemic, to U.S. Health and Human Services initiatives, to threats to the Affordable Care Act, to dangerous counterfeit drugs, to electronic medical records (and so much more we could never have room to name here), the content created by Kaiser Health News is trusted by major media from metropolitan daily newspapers, regional news outlets, public broadcasting and influential informational websites. Kaiser Health News’s nonprofit status and free reprint permissions mean that the valuable content it produces is disseminated widely to help the populace stay in touch with the most pressing healthcare policy issues of our times.

Accepted by: Elisabeth Rosenthal, editor-in-chief of Kaiser Health News

Guest presenter: David Lazarus, consumer columnist for the Los Angeles Times

Find a list of past honorees here.

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Consumer Action has been a champion of underrepresented consumers nationwide since 1971. A nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, Consumer Action focuses on consumer education that empowers low- and moderate-income and limited-English-speaking consumers to financially prosper. It also advocates for consumers in the media and before lawmakers to advance consumer rights and promote industry-wide change.

By providing consumer education materials in multiple languages, a free national hotline, a comprehensive website and annual surveys of financial and consumer services, Consumer Action helps consumers assert their rights in the marketplace and make financially savvy choices. More than 6,000 community and grassroots organizations benefit annually from its extensive outreach programs, training materials and support.


2020 Consumer Excellence Awards recognize three healthcare-related champions   (PR-49th-Consumer-Excellence-Awards.pdf)




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