Post the Price, Please

OSPIRG is working to make sure consumers get to see health care prices up front.

SECRET PRICES CONTRIBUTE TO HIGH COSTS

 Recent studies show that one third of every dollar we spend on health care is wasted on something that doesn’t improve our health.[1] One reason why is that hospitals get to keep their prices a secret. As a result, medical prices are often hidden from patients, and many contain extra charges and surprising fees. Take a look at some of these examples:

IT’S TIME FOR UP FRONT PRICES

We can bring down the cost of care by getting prices up front. To that end, OSPIRG urges Oregon policymakers to take action to require hospitals to post their prices and to give patients the price of a recommended procedure in real time. It's common sense, but it will likely take big public support to overcome industry lobbyists.


 
[1] Institute of Medicine at the National Academies, Sept 2012, "Best Care at Lower Cost: The Path to Continuously Learning Health Care in America".
[2] CNN, March 2010, "Prescription for Waste" 
[3] OSPIRG blog, October 2013, "Thousand Dollar Ointment".
[4] Medicare Provider Utilization and Payment Data

Issue updates

Blog Post

Straight from Salem: Introductions | Maribeth Guarino

This is the first in a series of blog posts from OSPIRG intern Goodwin-Ricern Sophie with updates on OSPIRG’s health care bills this session.

> Keep Reading
News Release | US PIRG

Statement: FDA plans to reduce toxic metal in baby food

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Friday it will adopt a plan aimed at reducing toxic substances in food for babies and toddlers.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Why Rohit Chopra is the consumer champion we need to head the Consumer Bureau | Aaron Colonnese

We can't let this chance to restore vital consumer protections slip through our fingers.

> Keep Reading
News Release | U.S. PIRG | Democracy

Statement: House passes timely, important democracy reform legislation

The House of Representatives passed a package of democracy reform legislation (H.R. 1) on Wednesday night that features important proposals to improve the health of America’s democracy. The bill would increase participation in the voting process and disclosures on secret political spending as well as reform redistricting practices. It would also create a small donor empowerment system for federal elections, which would help combat the overwhelming influence of big money in politics.

> Keep Reading
Report | OSPIRG

OSPIRG's 2021 Legislative Agenda

OSPIRG’s mission is to deliver persistent, results-oriented public interest activism that protects consumers, encourages a fair, sustainable economy, protects public health and fosters responsive, democratic government.

For more information about OSPIRG’s 2021 Legislative Agenda, to request our support for a bill, or to ask questions about our position on a specific issue, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We look forward to working with you.

> Keep Reading

Pages

News Release | US PIRG

Statement: FDA plans to reduce toxic metal in baby food

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Friday it will adopt a plan aimed at reducing toxic substances in food for babies and toddlers.

> Keep Reading
News Release | U.S. PIRG | Democracy

Statement: House passes timely, important democracy reform legislation

The House of Representatives passed a package of democracy reform legislation (H.R. 1) on Wednesday night that features important proposals to improve the health of America’s democracy. The bill would increase participation in the voting process and disclosures on secret political spending as well as reform redistricting practices. It would also create a small donor empowerment system for federal elections, which would help combat the overwhelming influence of big money in politics.

> Keep Reading

A week's worth of help and tips during Consumer Protection Week

Being a consumer is a tough job. Really tough. During National Consumer Protection Week, which runs through March 6, the U.S. PIRG Education Fund staff is offering a daily dose of tips and advice to help you navigate life’s biggest consumer challenges.

> Keep Reading
News Release | U.S.PIRG

Statement: U.S. PIRG supports child benefit to improve wellbeing of children and families

A pair of proposals from Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) and Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) could help by providing parents with hundreds of dollars a month as a “child allowance,” or “child benefit.” Congress should seize this opportunity for bipartisan agreement and pass a policy to support the wellbeing of children and show appreciation for the vital work of caregiving.

> Keep Reading
News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Solid Waste

U.S. PIRG Education Fund urges the public to hold Coca-Cola accountable on its pledge to reduce plastic use

The Coca-Cola Company, a top plastic polluter according to a 2020 Brand Audit from the nonprofit Break Free From Plastic, announced a new commitment today to start using plastic bottles made with 100 percent recycled plastic for select brands in some U.S. states. According to the company, it would account for a nearly 20 percent reduction of new plastic used in North America compared to 2018. The commitment follows similar ones made by other major consumer goods companies, recently documented by U.S. PIRG Education Fund.

> Keep Reading

Pages

Result | Tax

No tax giveaway for Comcast

The Oregon Department of Revenue has denied Comcast a big payday at taxpayer expense, following a public outcry and petitions from thousands of Oregonians across the state opposing a tax giveaway for the internet giant.

> Keep Reading
Result | Health Care

Health Insurance Legislation Passed

In 2015, with OSPIRG’s strong support, the Oregon Legislature passed the state’s first comprehensive consumer protections in health insurance networks. Until now, Oregon law provided few protections to ensure that health plans offer a network that can provide covered services in a timely fashion. The new law requires insurers to provide accurate, actionable provider network information to consumers.

> Keep Reading
Result | Democracy

Delivering one million petitions to President Obama on dark money

U.S. PIRG joined a broad coalition to deliver one million petitions from Americans, including U.S. PIRG members and supporters, calling on President Obama to shine a light on dark money, or secret political spending.

> Keep Reading

30 years of toy safety

For the past thirty years, our sister organization U.S. PIRG Education Fund has taken a close look at the safety of toys sold in stores. Their reports have led to more than 150 regulatory actions. In November 2015, they released our 30th annual Trouble in Toyland report.

> Keep Reading
Result | Democracy

Giving more Americans a greater voice in our elections

In our democracy, the size of your wallet shouldn’t determine the volume of your voice. In 2015, we helped win reforms in Maine and Seattle to ensure that more Americans have a greater say in our elections. Seattle’s Initiative-122 empowers small donors with “democracy vouchers” that can be donated to local candidates and lowers the cap on contributions. In Maine, the state’s Clean Elections Act was improved by strengthening campaign finance disclosure laws and offering qualifying candidates increased public funding.

> Keep Reading

Pages

Report | OSPIRG

OSPIRG's 2021 Legislative Agenda

OSPIRG’s mission is to deliver persistent, results-oriented public interest activism that protects consumers, encourages a fair, sustainable economy, protects public health and fosters responsive, democratic government.

For more information about OSPIRG’s 2021 Legislative Agenda, to request our support for a bill, or to ask questions about our position on a specific issue, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We look forward to working with you.

> Keep Reading
Report | US PIRG Education Fund | COVID-19

Nursing home safety during COVID: Staff shortages

For most of last year, more than 200,000 people at any given time were in nursing homes that themselves acknowledged they were suffering from staff shortages.

> Keep Reading
Report | OSPIRG Foundation | COVID-19, Health Care

Hospital Repair Restrictions

COVID-19 is putting incredible stress on the U.S. medical system, including the work of hospital biomedical repair technicians, known as biomeds or BMETs. These technicians are essential; hospitals need working equipment to diagnose and treat patients. But in some cases, manufacturers restrict access to what biomeds need.

> Keep Reading
Report | OSPIRG | COVID-19

Open Safe Oregon

COVID Exit Strategy (www.covidexitstrategy.org), a non-partisan group of public health and crisis experts, has been tracking the progress states have made towards meeting the CDC recommended benchmarks states should reach before reopening their economies. As of June 28th, only three states were meeting these metrics, earning a “Green” rating.  Currently, Oregon is failing half of the benchmarks, and is rated “Red.”

> Keep Reading

Pages

Blog Post

Straight from Salem: Introductions | Maribeth Guarino

This is the first in a series of blog posts from OSPIRG intern Goodwin-Ricern Sophie with updates on OSPIRG’s health care bills this session.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Why Rohit Chopra is the consumer champion we need to head the Consumer Bureau | Aaron Colonnese

We can't let this chance to restore vital consumer protections slip through our fingers.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Solid Waste

Fashion industry experts answer your questions | Olivia Sullivan

How to avoid textile “wish-cycling” and why clothing companies need to bear responsibility for the waste crisis their products create.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Consumer Tips

Credit freeze -- A free and fast way to help safeguard your finances | Grace Brombach

My first-hand, step-by-step guide to freezing your credit reports.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post

Deere in the Headlights as 21 states consider Right to Repair | Nathan Proctor

Right to Repair continues at a rapid pace in 2021, as we now have 33 active bills in 21 state legislatures, while tractor repair takes center stage.

> Keep Reading

Pages

Blog Post | Public Health, Antibiotics

Superbugs Unplugged: PIRG launches podcast about antibiotic resistance

Get ready for some alarming stories—and they're all the more alarming because they're true.

On Nov. 14, U.S. PIRG and the Antibiotic Resistance Action Center (ARAC) of George Washington University launched "Superbugs Unplugged," a podcast that will dive into the alarming issue of antibiotic resistance and how we can slow it. Matt Wellington, our Stop the Overuse of Antibiotics campaign director, is co-hosting the podcast, along with Dr. Lance Price of ARAC. 

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Oregonians want to repair their stuff. Why can't they?

More and more Oregonians just want to fix the things they own.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Solid Waste

Congress is investigating how Apple restricts our right to repair

Congress is taking a look at the ways that Apple makes it harder to fix our iPhones, iPads and other products as a part of a larger antitrust investigation.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post

The most comprehensive plastic pollution reduction bill in the country stalled in California. Here's what we do next.

California came close to passing the most ambitious legislation aimed at reducing plastic pollution in the country. But not close enough.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Public Health

Kids are back at school. How do we make sure their water is safe to drink?

It's not just Flint or Newark. Parents and teachers are concerned about lead in drinking water throughout the country. And they're looking for steps they can take to get the lead out.

> Keep Reading

Pages

Blog Post

This is the first in a series of blog posts from OSPIRG intern Goodwin-Ricern Sophie with updates on OSPIRG’s health care bills this session.

Blog Post

We can't let this chance to restore vital consumer protections slip through our fingers.

News Release | US PIRG

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Friday it will adopt a plan aimed at reducing toxic substances in food for babies and toddlers.

Blog Post

How to avoid textile “wish-cycling” and why clothing companies need to bear responsibility for the waste crisis their products create.

News Release | U.S. PIRG

The House of Representatives passed a package of democracy reform legislation (H.R. 1) on Wednesday night that features important proposals to improve the health of America’s democracy. The bill would increase participation in the voting process and disclosures on secret political spending as well as reform redistricting practices. It would also create a small donor empowerment system for federal elections, which would help combat the overwhelming influence of big money in politics.

Health Care

Here's what you can do if you receive a surprise medical bill

For those who receive medical treatment at a hospital or emergency room within their insurance network, surprise medical bills from out-of-network providers are costly, unfair and surprisingly common. That's why OSPIRG has launched a consumer education campaign on what surprise medical bills are and what rights and protections Oregonians have.

 

Solid Waste

OSPIRG's right to repair virtual town hall draws state lawmakers and over 100 attendees

OSPIRG hosted a virtual town hall, alongside right to repair champions state Rep. Janeen Sollman and state Sen. Jeff Golden, to discuss the myriad ways right to repair is a must in a 21st-century economy — from reducing e-waste and cutting climate pollution, to saving consumers money and closing the digital divide.

 

Tell Whole Foods: Move Beyond Plastic

Whole Foods has led on plastics in the past, but the company recently got an "F" in a report by As You Sow for failing to tackle plastic pollution. Tell Whole Foods' CEO to get rid single-use plastics in its stores.

 

COVID-19

Nursing Home Safety During COVID

Ongoing research by U.S. PIRG Education Fund and Frontier Group, analyzing government data, shows that too many of the 1.3 million Americans residing in the nation’s 15,000 nursing homes are at risk due to dangerous shortages of personal protective equipment and/or staff.

 
View AllRSS Feed

Support Us

Your donation supports OSPIRG’s work to stand up for consumers on the issues that matter, especially when powerful interests are blocking progress.

Consumer Alerts

Join our network and stay up to date on our campaigns, get important consumer updates, and take action on critical issues.
Optional Member Code



OSPIRG is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change.