Making Health Care Work

LOWERING HEALTH CARE COSTS—We’re working to cut costs by cutting waste and focusing on prevention and care that gets results.

LOWER COSTS, BETTER CARE

With the Supreme Court uphold the health reform law, it’s time for the states to move forward to make sure consumers see the benefit of lower costs and better quality coverage.

At stake is how we set up new insurance marketplaces — the single biggest tool we have to clean up health care. The new state insurance exchanges will allow small businesses, those of us who buy health care on our own, and the uninsured to shop for cheaper health care plans and find some relief from increasingly brutal premiums.  

Done right, the exchange will save billions and level the balance of power between consumers and the health care industry — driving the industry to cut waste and prioritize high-quality care.

The health care industry has spent millions to influence decisions on health care, so they know how high the stakes are.

In order to help us fight back against the kind of price jumps and trap-door coverage we’ve all been suffering from, ConnPIRG is pushing to see that the exchanges:

  1. Negotiate for better plans. By demanding better care for less cost, the exchanges can use the collective power of hundreds of thousands of consumers to finally demand that the industry does better. 
  2. Have high standards, so that bad plans aren’t an option. 
  3. Are open to as many people as possible. Limits that shut some individuals and businesses out of the exchanges would reduce its ability to lower costs — and will be a key tactic that industry lobbyists use to weaken them. 
  4. Are accountable to the public.

See what the General Assembly is doing about healthcare with our Legislative Scorecared. 


Learn more about our priority campaign to end the pharmaceutical industry's scheme to delay cheaper drugs from entering the market:

Issue updates

Blog Post | Health Care

Health Care Bill Weakened | Abe Scarr

The Insurance and Real Estate Committee acted today to weaken a bill that would have lowered health insurance premiums for Connecticut consumers purchasing insurance through Access Health CT.

> Keep Reading
News Release | ConnPIRG | Health Care

ConnPIRG Federal Program Director Testifies on “Pay for Delay” Before Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust,Competition Policy and Consumer Rights

Yesterday, Mike Russo, ConnPIRG's Federal Program Director, testified at a hearing on “Pay-for-Delay Deals: Limiting Competition and Costing Consumers” held by the Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition and Consumer Rights.  Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal sits on the Judiciary Committee and participated in the hearing.

> Keep Reading
News Release | ConnPIRG | Health Care

Twenty Top Generic Drugs Delayed By Industry Payoffs

Connecticut residents with cancer, heart disease, epilepsy and other conditions have been forced to pay an average of 10 times more than necessary for at least 20 blockbuster drugs, according to a report released today by the Connecticut Public Interest Research Group ConnPIRG and Community Catalyst. 

> Keep Reading
Report | ConnPIRG | Health Care

TOP TWENTY PAY-FOR-DELAY DRUGS

Too often, consumers are forced to shoulder a heavy financial burden, or even go without needed medicine, due to the high cost of brand-name drugs. Our research indicates that one significant cause is the practice called “pay for delay,” which inflates the drug prices paid by tens of millions of Americans.

> Keep Reading
News Release | ConnPIRG | Health Care

Big Pharma’s Pay-for-Delay Deals Take a Hit

Big Pharma’s controversial “pay-for-delay” agreements took a hit today. In FTC v. Actavis, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the FTC’s case against the payoff keeping generic AndroGel from the market can move ahead in the lower courts.

> Keep Reading

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News Release | ConnPIRG | Health Care

ConnPIRG Federal Program Director Testifies on “Pay for Delay” Before Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust,Competition Policy and Consumer Rights

Yesterday, Mike Russo, ConnPIRG's Federal Program Director, testified at a hearing on “Pay-for-Delay Deals: Limiting Competition and Costing Consumers” held by the Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition and Consumer Rights.  Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal sits on the Judiciary Committee and participated in the hearing.

> Keep Reading
News Release | ConnPIRG | Health Care

Twenty Top Generic Drugs Delayed By Industry Payoffs

Connecticut residents with cancer, heart disease, epilepsy and other conditions have been forced to pay an average of 10 times more than necessary for at least 20 blockbuster drugs, according to a report released today by the Connecticut Public Interest Research Group ConnPIRG and Community Catalyst. 

> Keep Reading
News Release | ConnPIRG | Health Care

Big Pharma’s Pay-for-Delay Deals Take a Hit

Big Pharma’s controversial “pay-for-delay” agreements took a hit today. In FTC v. Actavis, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the FTC’s case against the payoff keeping generic AndroGel from the market can move ahead in the lower courts.

> Keep Reading
News Release | ConnPIRG | Health Care

Supreme Court Upholds Health Reform

Today’s decision is good news for consumers. Insurance companies can’t go back to the days of dropping your coverage once you become ill, or denying coverage to sick children. And beginning in 2014, the days of insurers being able to deny anyone coverage for “pre-existing conditions” will be history. 

> Keep Reading
News Release | ConnPIRG Education Fund | Health Care

Nationwide Survey of New Health Exchanges Shows How to Lower Costs for Consumers

Many states are creating health exchanges to deliver better value for consumers, and other states should follow their lead, according to Making the Grade, a new report by consumer group ConnPIRG.  Health exchanges are competitive marketplaces that can empower individuals and small businesses with better, more affordable options for coverage.  Under the federal health reform law, each state will have an exchange up and running in 2014. The report closely examines the exchanges that have so far been set up by states and rates them according to how accountable they will be to consumers and the public, how much they can do to lower premiums and improve the quality of care, how friendly they will be to consumers, and how stable they will be.

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Result | Health Care

Young People Now Covered

This year, the federal health care reforms that ConnPIRG worked to win have started to pay off for young people. In the past, teens saw their premiums soar or were denied coverage when they turned 19, even if they’d been insured their whole lives. Now, they can remain on their parents’ plans until age 26. 

> Keep Reading
Report | ConnPIRG | Health Care

TOP TWENTY PAY-FOR-DELAY DRUGS

Too often, consumers are forced to shoulder a heavy financial burden, or even go without needed medicine, due to the high cost of brand-name drugs. Our research indicates that one significant cause is the practice called “pay for delay,” which inflates the drug prices paid by tens of millions of Americans.

> Keep Reading
Report | ConnPIRG Education Fund | Health Care

Making the Grade

This report assesses the progress that the states have made, and for the states that have begun to set up their health care exchange, evaluates them on the myriad policies and criteria that will determine whether it is ultimately successful in improving health care for consumers.

> Keep Reading
Report | Health Care

Building a Better Health Care Marketplace

The creation of a new health insurance exchange offers our state the chance to build a better marketplace for health care.  The exchange can help individuals and small businesses by increasing competition and improving choices in the state’s insurance market.  By providing better options and better information, and negotiating on behalf of its enrollees, the exchange can level the playing field for consumers.

> Keep Reading
Report | Health Care

Policy Brief #2 - Negotiating for a Better Deal

A well-made state exchange can help deliver lower costs for individuals and small businesses. Just as big businesses negotiate with insurers, using the bargaining power of their employees to push for lower premiums, so too can exchange enrollees benefit from a muscular exchange that negotiates on their behalf for better choices and lower costs.

> Keep Reading
Report | Health Care

Policy Brief #1 - Ensuring Accountability

The opportunity to create an exchange will allow the states to increase competition and improve choices in their insurance markets. However, to fully realize this opportunity, the exchange must be accountable to the public, and the individual and small business consumers who will buy their coverage through it.

The best way for the states to realize these goals is to make decisions about the exchange’s structure and governance to ensure that this important new entity is transparent in its operations, and fundamentally accountable to the public interest.

> Keep Reading

Pages

Blog Post | Health Care

Health Care Bill Weakened | Abe Scarr

The Insurance and Real Estate Committee acted today to weaken a bill that would have lowered health insurance premiums for Connecticut consumers purchasing insurance through Access Health CT.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Health Care

What’s Next on Health Care Costs? | Abe Scarr

Now that the election is over, talk has turned to the need to work together and get results for America. It’s a tall order, and on the polarized issue of health care, it may seem at first like an impossible task. But I am hopeful that we can make significant progress together. 

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Consumer Protection, Health Care

Here’s that Rx refill you didn’t order | Abe Scarr

Is your pharmacy refilling your prescription without your knowledge or approval, and billing your insurance company for the cost? 
If so, it’s the latest example of waste we shouldn't tolerate in our health care system.

> Keep Reading
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We’ve got a chance to clean up the health care industry in Connecticut, but with lobbyists lining the halls of the state capitol, we need your support.

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