Making Health Care Work

LOWERING HEALTH CARE COSTS—A pro-consumer health insurance exchange would allow hundreds of thousands of families and businesses to join together and negotiate for cheaper health care plans.

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, WashPIRG 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.

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

Issue updates

News Release | WashPIRG Foundation | Health Care

WashPIRG Foundation Helps University of Washington Students Navigate New Health Insurance Landscape

With the main parts of the Affordable Care Act now going into effect, WashPIRG Foundation has launched a statewide education campaign reaching out to students with facts about the changes, and tips to help them find the right coverage for themselves. 

> Keep Reading
News Release | WashPIRG | Health Care

House Poised to Approve Bill Continuing Giant Giveaways to Big Agribusiness

WashPIRG urges the House to vote NO on the Farm Bill scheduled to be voted on today. Like the Senate’s Farm Bill, this legislation would keep the gravy train flowing for big agribusiness, locking in their unjustified corporate handouts for the next five years. Members of the House should stand firm and reject this bill once again. With Congress focused on how to fix the budget, our elected leaders shouldn’t squander the opportunity to cut off these outrageous giveaways to Big Ag once and for all. 

> Keep Reading
News Release | WashPIRG | Health Care

Twenty Top Generic Drug Delayed by Industry Payoffs

Washingtonians 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 Washington State Public Interest Research Group (Washington) and Community Catalyst. 

> Keep Reading
Report | WashPIRG | 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 | WashPIRG | 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 AndroGel's anti-competitive practices can move ahead in the lower courts. 

AndroGel offered payments to generic firms for not bringing their products to market. The court chose not to declare all such payoffs unlawful, spurring consumer advocates to call on Congress to finish the job. 

> Keep Reading

Pages

News Release | WashPIRG Foundation | Health Care

WashPIRG Foundation Helps University of Washington Students Navigate New Health Insurance Landscape

With the main parts of the Affordable Care Act now going into effect, WashPIRG Foundation has launched a statewide education campaign reaching out to students with facts about the changes, and tips to help them find the right coverage for themselves. 

> Keep Reading
News Release | WashPIRG | Health Care

House Poised to Approve Bill Continuing Giant Giveaways to Big Agribusiness

WashPIRG urges the House to vote NO on the Farm Bill scheduled to be voted on today. Like the Senate’s Farm Bill, this legislation would keep the gravy train flowing for big agribusiness, locking in their unjustified corporate handouts for the next five years. Members of the House should stand firm and reject this bill once again. With Congress focused on how to fix the budget, our elected leaders shouldn’t squander the opportunity to cut off these outrageous giveaways to Big Ag once and for all. 

> Keep Reading
News Release | WashPIRG | Health Care

Twenty Top Generic Drug Delayed by Industry Payoffs

Washingtonians 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 Washington State Public Interest Research Group (Washington) and Community Catalyst. 

> Keep Reading
News Release | WashPIRG | 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 AndroGel's anti-competitive practices can move ahead in the lower courts. 

AndroGel offered payments to generic firms for not bringing their products to market. The court chose not to declare all such payoffs unlawful, spurring consumer advocates to call on Congress to finish the job. 

> Keep Reading
News Release | WashPIRG | 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

Pages

Result | Health Care

Young People Now Covered

This year, the federal health care reforms that WashPIRG 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 | WashPIRG | 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
Blog Post | Health Care

What’s Next on Health Care Costs? | Laura Etherton

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 | Health Care

Here’s that Rx refill you didn’t order | Laura Etherton

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 Washington, but with lobbyists lining the halls of the state capitol, we need your support.

PRIORITY ACTION

When Big Pharma pays off their competition to keep them from selling lower priced generic drugs, we all pay. Each year this costs Americans an added $3.5 billion.

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