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

Pharmacy benefit managers are driving up drug costs for patients
States, local governments, organizations, and businesses use pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to negotiate lower drug prices for the individuals on their health insurance plans. Three organizations control 85 percent of this market. While PBMs play a crucial role in the drug supply chain, the lack of transparency regarding their practices has long contributed to the rising cost of prescription drugs. The PBM Transparency and Prescription Drug Costs Act (H.R. 5304) will increase transparency, hold pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) accountable, and help lower prescription drug prices. This bipartisan bill will mandate quarterly reports on the costs, fees, and rebate information associated with PBM contracts. This reform ensures employers know the true costs of the services they are paying for and passes on savings to consumers.

Advocates call on Amtrak to end forced arbitration policy
Consumer Action joined a coalition of more than 30 groups in urging the federally-controlled and federally-subsidized Amtrak to remove the arbitration clause it implemented earlier this year for passengers. This new policy means that for any dispute ranging from a customer complaint to a mass casualty crash, passengers and their families are stripped of their right to go to court. Under forced arbitration, Amtrak disputes must be resolved in a secretive, privatized system, replacing and judge and jury with arbitrators.

Healthcare mergers result in less choice and higher prescription drug prices for consumers
As the Federal Trade Commission considers signing off on the $63 billion deal between AbbVie and Allergen, advocates warn that the merger will reduce competition in a number of markets where AbbVie and Allergan directly overlap with each other. The deal will also exacerbate competitive problems that already exist in the pharmaceutical drug industry relating to rebate walls and patent abuses.

Americans are ready for comprehensive reform to lower prescription drug prices
A coalition of progressive grassroots and policy organizations sent a letter urging Congress to lower prescription drug prices for the American people. The letter urges House leadership to develop and pass bold, comprehensive reforms that would lower drug prices for all Americans, regardless of whether they are covered by Medicare, private insurance, or Medicaid.

The time is now for a FAMILY bill to be passed
There’s never been more national and state-level attention to America’s need for paid family and medical leave. A record number of members of Congress have voiced support for a shared vision for what a real national paid leave plan looks like–one that covers parental, family care, personal medical and military families’ needs with adequate, sustainable funding and meaningful legislation.

The CREATES Act protects patients from outrageous prescription drug costs
When it comes to prescription medicines, patients win when companies innovate new cures and treatments. Patients also win when more affordable generic versions of those medicines enter the market. Unfortunately, some drug manufacturers aren’t playing by the rules.

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.

Advocates warn that HUD’s disaster relief program is too limited in scope
In an official letter to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), advocates urge HUD to improve its efforts to expedite the process for borrowers in disaster areas to access loss mitigation. While a good start, The Disaster Standalone Partial Claim program does not do enough for borrowers in disaster areas that have not yet fully recovered, and the program includes vague and unnecessary eligibility requirements that will impose unnecessary barriers to mortgage relief.

3M seniors could lose critical benefits if Benchmark Cap remains in Medicare Advantage
Three million American seniors are at risk of being denied critically important benefits like care coordination, vision, dental, hearing, and wellness programs if Congress allows the benchmark cap to stay in place. In a letter to Congress, coalition advocates supported the bipartisan Improving Seniors Access to Quality Benefits Act (HR 4952), which aims to lift the benchmark cap, thus giving beneficiaries higher-quality care.

“License to Kill” bills in New Jersey are as terrifying for consumers as they sound
S 2740 and A 4292, dubbed the “License to Kill” bills, would make regulating auto industries in the state of New Jersey, and protecting the safety of New Jersey consumers, much more difficult. Backed by unscrupulous auto dealers, the bills would drastically weaken the existing laws in the state that protect consumers from being defrauded and purchasing unsafe vehicles.

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