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News Release | OSPIRG | Food

New Farm Bill Contains Massive Taxpayer Handouts To Big Ag

Statement of OSPIRG Federal Tax and Budget Advocate Dan Smith on the Farm Bill Conference Committee agreement to be voted on by the House this week:

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Report | OSPIRG Foundation and OSPIRG Students | Higher Ed

Fixing the broken textbook market

This study demonstrates that despite recent steps forward in the marketplace, high textbook costs will continue to be a problem for students unless the cost of high-priced, new editions of college textbooks comes down.

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News Release | OSPIRG Foundation | Financial Reform

Report: Capital One Most-Complained-About Credit Card Company in Oregon

Oregon consumers file more complaints about Capital One than any other credit card company, according to a report released today by OSPIRG Foundation. The report is the fourth in a series of reports that analyze the complaints in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s consumer complaints database.

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Report | OSPIRG Foundation | Financial Reform

Credit Cards, Consumer Complaints

This is the fourth in a series of OSPIRG Foundation reports that review complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) nationally and on a state-by-state level. In this report we explore consumer complaints about credit cards with the aim of uncovering patterns in the problems consumers are experiencing with their credit cards and documenting the role of the CFPB in helping consumers successfully resolve their complaints.

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News Release | Consumer Protection

Tips for Getting the Right Cell Phone Plan

Deciding whether or not to sign up for another two year cell phone contract can be a tough decision for many consumers. Our resource can help many consumers sort through their choices and find a cell phone plan that fits their needs and budget. 

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News Release | OSPIRG | Health Care

Twenty Top Generic Drugs Delayed By Industry Payoffs

Oregonians 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 Oregon State Public Interest Research Group (OSPIRG) and Community Catalyst.

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News Release | OSPIRG | Tax

Oregon Legislature Unanimously Passes Bill to Increase Government Transparency

The Oregon legislature took an important step towards ensuring that Oregonians have access to information on how public dollars are spent through the unanimous passage of House Bill 2370.

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News Release | OSPIRG | Democracy

Oregon becomes 16th state on record against big money in politics

After a State Senate vote on July 1, Oregon became the 16th state to call for an amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling and related decisions.

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News Release | OSPIRG | Higher Ed

Interest Rate for 121,570 Student Loan Borrowers in Oregon Doubles

Due to Congressional inaction, the interest rates on federally subsidized student loans doubled on July 1 from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. The change will affect 121,570 students in Oregon, and in total the rate increase will hike the cost of Oregon students’ loans by over $110 million. That translates into a $906 increase in debt per student, per loan.

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Media Hit | Health Care

Oregon slashes 2014 health insurance premium requests by as much as 35 percent

Oregonians who buy their own insurance have the first clear indication of what 2014 premiums will look like after state regulators Tuesday slashed carriers' rate requests by as much as 35 percent.

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Report | OSPIRG Foundation | Health Care

Comment on Moda Health Plan's Proposed Individual Health Insurance Rates

 

Moda Health Plan—formerly known as ODS Health Plan—has proposed premium rates for its individual and family plans for 2014. Moda’s proposed rates are the lowest filed for an insurer in Oregon’s Individual market. While Moda’s product is inexpensive relative to the competition, it remains critical to examine the justification for their rate.

 

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Report | OSPIRG | Public Health

Prescription for Danger

Compounding pharmacies have been exploiting loopholes in the regulatory system for at least a decade. Compounding pharmacies are increasingly behaving like pharmaceutical companies by producing drugs in bulk, despite the fact that they are not inspected or regulated like the pharmaceutical industry. Due to this lack of oversight, many compounding pharmacies have not adhered to safe manufacturing practices, and shown little regard for consumer safety.

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Report | OSPIRG Foundation | Transportation

A New Direction

The Driving Boom—a six decade-long period of steady increases in per-capita driving in the United States—is over. The time has come for America to hit the “reset” button on transportation policy—replacing the policy infrastructure of the Driving Boom years with a more efficient, flexible and nimble system that is better able to meet the transportation needs of the 21st century.

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Report | OSPIRG Foundation | Budget, Tax

Revealing Tax Subsidies 2013

OSPIRG Foundation's new study examines the first two years of annual reports made available by the law on the Oregon Transparency Website. It evaluates how well the law is being followed, and the degree to which the new information helps the public determine the value of these programs.

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Report | OSPIRG Foundation | Health Care

Advancing Accountability, Cutting Health Care Waste

Since 2010, close scrutiny of health insurance rate hikes has cut over $80 million in waste and unjustified costs from health insurance premiums in Oregon, according to a new OSPIRG Foundation report. The report also identifies changes to Oregon’s rate review program that would effectively tackle the biggest driver of costs: waste in the health care delivery system.

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Blog Post | Food

2.8 billion Twinkies is a lot of Twinkies | David Rosenfeld

We’ve already documented that at least $1 billion in taxpayer dollars directly subsidize the production of junk food ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated vegetable oils that are the main ingredients in Twinkies, soda and other junk food products. If you spent all that money on Twinkies, it would be enough to buy about 2.8 billion of those golden colored sweets (at the estimated wholesale rate of 36 cents per Twinkie), or about 19 Twinkies per taxpayer. But the fun math doesn’t need to stop there, especially when we’re talking 2.8 billion Twinkies.

 

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Blog Post | Transportation

Two good inter-city transit developments | David Rosenfeld

Two interesting (and at face value, good) announcements today from the Oregon Department of Transportation.

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Blog Post | Tax

Offshore Tax Havens Cost Oregon Taxpayers Dearly | David Rosenfeld

Just in time for Tax Day, OSPIRG released another fine piece of work from our national Budget and Taxes guru Phineas Baxendall.  The report-Picking up the Tab: Average Citizens and Small Businesses Pay the Price for Offshore Tax Havens-examines the practice of hiding legitimate U.S. profits and income in offshore tax havens. While this has mostly been discussed as a federal matter, the topic has a big impact on Oregon taxpayers, small businesses and state revenue.

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Blog Post | Transportation

Why are young people driving less? | David Rosenfeld

New report by OSPIRG Foundation and Frontier Group that documents the nationwide decline in driving—and finds that young people are leading the trend. The report explores the many factors that have led to the decrease in driving among the young. Bottom line: if these trends are structural, as the data suggests, then transportation planners will need to overhaul their assumptions about whether the nation needs (or can afford) major highway expansions.

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Priority Action

We should know whether our food is genetically engineered. Please pledge to vote yes on Measure 92 this November.

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