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

News Release | OSPIRG | Antibiotics

KFC To Eliminate Use of Medically Important Antibiotics from Chicken Supply

Louisville, KY – The growing ranks of global health experts who have been alarmed by the rise in antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” have an unlikely new hero: KFC, the fried chicken giant.

Today, KFC U.S. announced that by the end of 2018, all chicken purchased by the company will be raised without antibiotics important to human medicine. A coalition of consumer and public health groups, including OSPIRG, had urged the company to act on the issue. 

> Keep Reading
News Release | OSPIRG | Public Health, Antibiotics

U.S. Government Accountability Office concludes “oversight gaps still exist” in FDA response to routine antibiotic use on farms

A new report released last week by the United States Government Accountable Office (GAO) concluded that new federal government regulations meant to reduce the overuse of antibiotic on farms are inadequate and more action is needed. The report comes as lawmakers in Salem debate Senate Bill 785, which would outlaw the use of routine, low-doses of antibiotics on healthy animals to prevent disease and require farms to publicly disclose their use antibiotics on an annual basis.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Health Care

The American Health Care Act is a bad deal for Oregon | Jesse O'Brien

Congress may be about to make a historic mistake that could raise costs and degrade the quality of health care for countless Oregonians—all without seriously taking on any of the myriad problems in our health care system.

> Keep Reading
News Release | OSPIRG | Public Health

Salem Hearing Highlights Threat of Antibiotic-Resistant “Superbugs”

A coalition of medical organizations, farmers, and public health advocates testified in front of the Senate Health Care Committee today in support of Senate Bill 785, a bill that would protect the effectiveness of antibiotics by stopping their overuse on factory farms in Oregon.

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Blog Post | Health Care

Our Statement on the American Health Care Act

Instead of taking on the high cost of health care and other urgent problems for consumers, Congress may be on the verge of severely damaging the nation’s health insurance markets, raising costs and degrading care for millions of Americans.

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Media Hit | Health Care

Malpractice Legislation Nearly Ready to See Daylight

After months of negotiations between trial lawyers and physicians, legislators are optimistic about reaching a consensus on medical malpractice reform when they gather in Salem next month. All along the goal has been to find a way of reducing lawsuits while creating a safer patient environment.

> Keep Reading
News Release | OSPIRG | Consumer Protection

New Survey Shows Banks Still Hiding Fees from Consumers

A survey of hundreds of banks and credit unions in 24 states and the District of Columbia found that fewer than half of branches obeyed their legal duty to fully disclose fees to prospective customers on the first request, while 12% provided no fee information at all. The surveys conducted in Oregon show that just over half of branches complied, while 15% did not provide any fee information at all.

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News Release | OSPIRG | Democracy

Post Election Update---Distorted Democracy: Big Money and Dark Money in the 2012 Elections

A new analysis of data through Election Day from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and other sources by OSPIRG and Demos shows how big outside spenders drowned out small contributions in 2012: just 61 large donors to Super PACs giving on average $4.7 million each matched the $285.1 million in grassroots contributions from more than 1,425,500 small donors to presidential candidates.

> Keep Reading
Media Hit | Health Care

What's Next on Health Care Costs?

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
News Release | OSPIRG | Democracy

Distorted Democracy: Big Money and Dark Money in the 2012 Elections

A new analysis of pre-election data from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and other sources by OSPIRG and Demos shows that outside spending in the first presidential election since Citizens United is living up to its hype: new waves of “outside spending” have been fueled by dark money and unlimited fundraising from a small number of wealthy donors.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Towards Common Ground | Brian Rae

The super committee tasked with cutting 1.2-1.5 trillion dollars from the federal budget has been a hot topic in many political circles nationally and in Oregon. That is not surprising, as the national tax discussions impact Oregon taxpayers greatly. What is disappointing, however, is that much of the debate has focused in on the disagreements that Republicans and Democrats have on issues such as revenue and entitlements. Would it not make more sense to begin with our similarities, and then move on to the differences?

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Keeping safe online and in the Kitchen | Brian Rae

FTC announces new internet privacy rules for children –The Federal Trade Commission is looking at new privacy rules for children, whom they state as “very tech savvy but judgment poor”.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Recalls and Rising Textbook Prices | Brian Rae

Rising Textbook Prices - With Oregon Universities back in class this month, it’s a great time to remind students about ways to avoid rising textbook prices.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Regence Rate Hike Cut Down to 12.8% | Matt Orchant

Some decent news for health insurance consumers today. The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) issued their much-awaited decision on Regence BlueCross BlueShield's proposal to raise rates over 22% on nearly 60,000 Oregonians.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Financial Reform, Transportation

New research: speculation adds 83 cents a gallon to gas prices | David Rosenfeld

Without the influence of large-scale speculative trading on oil in the commodities futures market, the average price of gasoline at the pump in April would have been $3.13 rather than $3.96.

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Blog Post

State PIRG staff from around the country joined over 120 consumer advocates at the third annual Consumer Lobby Day today. Meetings with members of Congress and their staffs focused on protecting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's structure and funding while also opposing its current leadership's attack on a payday lending regulation drafted by its past director and his team.

Blog Post

Oregonians are feeling the pinch of health care premiums.

Blog Post

A bipartisan consensus is forming around at least one issue: battling hunger among college students.

Blog Post

Apple is starting to get the message: Growing numbers of consumers are done putting up with stuff they can't repair.

Blog Post

Here we go again: In April, another illness outbreak was tied to contaminated food, this time sickening over 170 people in Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia.

Solid Waste | U.S. PIRG

25 billion foam cups trashed in the U.S.

That's 83 cups per person — every single year. They never fully degrade, but persist in our environment for centuries. Join our call to ban polystyrene foam cups and containers.

 

Budget | U.S. PIRG

Blueprint for tomorrow

Our report highlights which investments will alleviate the most dire problems America faces as a result of crumbling or outdated infrastructure.

 

Food | U.S. PIRG

We've endorsed the Campus Hunger Reduction Act of 2019

No student should go hungry in our world of abundance. Our Zero Hunger campaign is recruiting campus administrators to make public commitments to achieving zero hunger by cutting waste.

 

Public Health | U.S. PIRG

End the nicotine trap

In 2018, 1 in 5 high school students vaped, which often delivers a highly addictive dose of nicotine. This has damaging consequences for their future and their health.

 
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