Health Care

Product Recalls

Six federal agencies with vastly different jurisdictions have joined together to create Recalls.gov— a "one-stop shop" for U.S. Government recalls. Check out the site to get the most up to date information about unsafe, hazardous or defective products including food, medicine, consumer products, motor vehicles, boats, cosmetics and environmental products.

News Release | MASSPIRG | Health Care

Modest Means Modest

MASSPIRG voiced strong opposition to emergency regulations weakening the state’s prescription and medical device marketing law, specifically allowing drug companies to wine and dine doctors,  at today’s Department of Public Health hearing.

News Release | MASSPIRG | Health Care

Leading consumer, health care and senior and community advocates strong opposition to regulations approved today by the Department of Public Health.

Drug companies are free to ply doctors with lavish multi-course meals and drinks, paid for by pharmaceutical industry marketing budgets, and ultimately tacked on to the price of prescriptions

Media Hit | Health Care

Health insurers’ earnings plunge for 2nd quarter

Deirdre Cummings, legislative director for the nonprofit Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group, said that while premium increases have been moderating, businesses and individuals still haven’t felt sufficient relief after enduring a decade of soaring premiums.

News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection, Health Care

Massachusetts takes steps forward to curb-out-of control health care costs

“This is good news for every resident of the Commonwealth,” said Deirdre Cummings, MASSPIRG’s legislative director. “With health care costs expected to double by 2020, we couldn’t afford delay or inaction.”   

Media Hit | Health Care

Relaxed Law Allows Docs to Dine with Big Pharma

“The pharma industry is very adept at persuading the public that coupons are good for consumers. The reality is that what the coupons will do is increase healthcare costs significantly. They’re designed to promote the sale of the newest and most costly drugs,” [MASSIPRG's Legislative Director Deirdre] Cummings said. “In the end it leads to a less safe environment to consumers."

Governor was wrong to weaken health cost law

By | Deirdre Cummings
Legislative Director

"Letting the restaurant, hospitality and convention industries set health care policy makes about as much sense as asking a pig to calculate the orbits of Jupiter’s moons.”
The Quincy Patriot-Ledger just put out a fantastic editorial on the recently passed law allowing drug reps to wine and dine physicians and other medical professionals.

News Release | MASSPIRG | Health Care

MASSPIRG Urges Governor to Veto Changes To Prescription Drug Gift Ban

Leading consumer, health care and senior organizations urge Governor Patrick to veto the changes made to the Prescription Drug Gift Ban included in the Massachusetts FY13 budget currently pending his approval.   “At a time when government, businesses and consumers are focused on improving health care quality and controlling costs, the very last thing the Legislature and the Governor should be considering is weakening the gift ban law,” concluded Deirdre Cummings, MASSPIRG Legislative Director.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will have far reaching impacts on consumers. The law is already working to improve the quality of care and reduce costs, with millions of Americans experiencing concrete improvements in their coverage. Further improvements are slated to go into effect in 2014 – including a ban on insurance companies denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, and the opening of competitive state health insurance marketplaces called “exchanges” aimed at giving consumers better choices for coverage, two reforms already working successfully here in Massachusetts.

While much of the national health care reforms were modeled after reforms already adopted  in Massachusetts, we still benefit from from some of the national reforms.  In this issue brief, we highlight the number of people the ACA has helped so far and the costs already saved to illustrate what’s at stake for Massachusetts consumers in the pending Supreme Court case.

Reducing the Cost of Health Care

By | Deirdre Cummings
Legislative Director

 In 2006, Massachusetts became a model for the nation when we enacted a law that expanded access to health care. Our success will unravel, however, if we fail to reverse the trend of rising health care costs that are now among the highest in the nation.  

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