Coalition Efforts

Consumer Action is working on these important issues along with other organizations. If you would like to know more about these issues, please see "More Information" at the end of each article.
 

Postings

Congress moves to punish malpractice victims using ACA and Medicaid benefits
Malpractice kills as many 400,000 people a year, making it the third leading cause of death in the United States, and is responsible for ten times as many injuries. Yet instead of enhancing patient safety, the House Republicans aim to impose severe limits on medical malpractice lawsuits with H.R. 1215 – a move that would both prevent victims from receiving appropriate compensation and make the malpractice problem worse, by lessening the deterrent effect of litigation.

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.

DARK Act threatens consumers’ right to know what they eat
The so-called “Denying Americans the Right to Know” (DARK) Act (S. 2609) would strip states’ rights to require genetically modified organisms (GMOs) labeling and instead makes all such labeling voluntary. Consumer Action joined coalition advocates in expressing concern that if this legislation becomes law, consumers will lose their right to know what is in their food.

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.

Keep auto insurance affordable for everyone
The Federal Insurance Office (FIO) must establish a strong affordability standard for low- and moderate-income Americans, according to nearly 50 organizations from 23 states and DC that jointly submitted comments to FIO. The groups called on FIO to move forward with its proposal to collect data directly from insurance companies and review the cost of basic liability auto insurance for tens of millions of financially strained drivers.

The Mylan-Teva merger is a healthcare disaster for consumers
A proposed merger of the two largest U.S. generic drug makers drew opposition from seven consumer groups. Advocates asked antitrust enforcers at the Federal Trade Commission to stop Teva Pharmaceutical Industries proposal to purchase Mylan, saying it would lead to higher prices for consumers and more drug shortages.

Ban remotely created checks and check hold times for prepaid cards
In light of the once-in-a-decade review of all insured-banking related regulations, (the 1996 Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act), consumer advocates submitted a letter to the Federal Reserve Board asking the Board to closely monitor the payment processing procedures and compliance safeguards currently in place. Advocates also reminded regulators that consumer protection should be their first priority during the review, citing banking regulations that did not protect consumers as the main cause of the global economic crisis of 2008.

Advocates ask for auto insurance affordability study
Consumer Action joined over 30 organizations from around the country in urging the U.S. Treasury Department’s Federal Insurance Office (FIO) to collect data from insurance companies in order to assess the affordability of auto insurance for low- and moderate-income Americans and those living in historically underserved communities. Advocates want to know what discounts, if any, are extended these customers and who qualifies for the programs.

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