Blog Posts

Consumer, Student Education Groups Defend CFPB To Congress

By | Chris Lindstrom
Higher Education Program Director

Nearly 60 student, consumer, and education groups signed on to this letter that was sent up to the Hill on Monday, February 13.  It calls for the CFPB to remain a strong, independent agency, so it can protect student loan borrowers (and taxpayers) from predatory lending tactics.

This week, in a big win for consumers, a district court took action to block the proposed merger between health insurance giants Anthem and Cigna. This decision follows a ruling last month that blocked the proposed merger of two more of the nation’s biggest for-profit health insurers, Aetna and Humana. These decisions come after months of work by U.S. PIRG and a broad coalition of consumer and health care groups, urging close scrutiny of the mergers from state and federal regulators and raising questions and concerns about the potential impact of the mergers.

In the Bid to Save Antibiotics, Are Drug Companies Allies or Enablers?

By | Jeremy Flood
Tax & Budget Digital Campaigner

While many hospitals have begun developing antibiotic stewardship programs and adopting strict policies in clinical settings, the routine overuse of antibiotics in meat production continues to quietly thrive as a multi-billion dollar industry.

Defending the Consumer Bureau and Richard Cordray

By | Kathryn Lee
Digital Campaigner

“Rich Cordray is the LeBron James of regulators, it makes no sense to fire him.” Our consumer program director, Ed Mierzwinski, is right. We need to maintain a strong and independent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, free from political and outside-industry influence. And to do that, we need to ensure Richard Cordray remains the Bureau’s director until the end of his term.

The internet should be free and open

By | Kathryn Lee
Digital Campaigner

Net neutrality is the basic principle that all internet traffic should be treated equally. And this principle is being dismantled by the new Federal Communications Commission.

Consumer protection suspended

By | Kathryn Lee
Digital Campaigner

On Monday, President Trump promised to do “a big number” on the Wall Street reforms we helped pass in the aftermath of the Great Recession. On Friday, he started to follow through on his promise, delaying a commonsense consumer protection to require retirement advisers to act in their clients’ best interests.

This week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau nailed two "big 3" credit bureaus --Trans Union and Equifax -- for deceptive marketing of their over-priced, under-performing credit monitoring subscription products.  Combined fines and consumer restitution total $23 million. I predict that the CFPB will also bring a case against the remaining bureau, Experian, and that it will pay much more, because Experian really has led the way in aggressively marketing these tawdry products. They don't prevent identity theft, nor do they always accurately disclose your credit score, at fees of up to $16.95/month or more. Yikes!

Credit cards are convenient. But using them is expensive. The problem is that most consumers don’t know just how expensive it is. That might change in some states after the U.S. Supreme Court weighs in on a case currently pending before it.

With the DOL fiduciary rule already delivering real benefits to retirement savers, will the Trump administration give in to special interest pressure and snatch those benefits away?

Burger King Announces New Antibiotics Policy. Does It Measure Up?

By | Matthew Wellington
Antibiotics Program Director

It’s a good sign when fast food companies are racing to announce initiatives to improve their health policies and one-up the competition. That’s why I’m glad to see another announcement from a restaurant, this time the home of the Whopper, to limit antibiotics use. However, Burger King’s announcement falls short not only of what needs to be done to address a major public health crisis, but also of what its industry peers have done.

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