Making Health Care Work

LOWERING HEALTH CARE COSTS—We’re working to cut costs by cutting waste and focusing on prevention and care that get results.


It’s a big year for health care. Many people have new options for coverage. And new protections are making existing health insurance work better. Take a look at our latest resources to help you make the most of the changes:

Health Insurance Tips - Top tips on getting the best deal on health insurance, and information about new consumer protections

So You Need Health Insurance, Now What? - The new young person's guide to health insurance

We’re excited to get the word out about these new options and consumer protections. But we also know there’s more to do to really make health care work across America. That’s why we’re advancing new initiatives to cut waste, improve care, and give consumers more control over their health.

The Health Insurance Marketplace

The state and federal health insurance marketplaces can help consumers and small businesses find a better deal on health coverage, with tools to compare plans, and information about new financial help. We’re working to make sure these marketplaces meet their potential to boost competition, reduce costs and improve quality.

Health Insurance Rate Watch

It’s time for health insurance companies to get serious about lowering the cost of care by cutting waste and focusing on preventive care that gets results – instead of raising deductibles and hiking premiums. We’re tracking insurers’ health insurance rate increase proposals, and working to strengthen protections for consumers and small businesses against excessive rates.

Fighting the High Cost of Rx Drugs

According to the Federal Trade Commission, Americans spend at least $3.5 billion more than they should have to on prescription drugs every year. That’s because drug companies use a practice called “pay for delay” to pay off their competitors to delay availability of the lower priced generic version of the drug. We’re working to put a stop to this practice.

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

Issue updates

Report | U.S. PIRG | Health Care

Paying for What Works

Congress faces the challenge of transforming macro-level consensus on health care reform into detailed, workable policy. This policy primer is intended to help meet that challenge. It examines seven factors which have led to the interrelated crises in cost and quality, and prescribes specific policy remedies to tame costs and restore health professionals’ ability to provide the care on which American families rely.

> Keep Reading
Report | Illinois PIRG Education Fund | Health Care

Ensuring Accountability

As our economy weakens nationwide, Illinoisans are having a harder time accessing and affording health insurance. Illinois needs to change the way it regulates the health insurance industry to make sure residents have access to predictable and affordable coverage. An analysis conducted by the Illinois Public Interest Research Group indicates that increasing cost-containment and accountability measures for health insurance companies does not mean that the premium costs paid by consumers will increase.

> Keep Reading
Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Health Care

Health Care in Crisis

Unless the new Congress and Administration act to reduce health care costs, the yearly cost of the average employer-paid family health policy in America is projected to more than double from $11,381 in 2006 to $24,291 by 2016 even after adjusting for inflation. If recent trends continue, wages and household incomes will simply not keep up with these high costs.

> Keep Reading
Report | OSPIRG | Health Care

More For Your Money

Oregon businesses and consumers are facing unsustainable increases health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs, with health care costs rising at more than double the rate of inflation. Given this, Oregon officials are developing a major health reform plan to cut costs, improve health outcomes, and ensure Oregonians have access to affordable quality health care. The officials charged with this task, the Oregon Health Fund Board, released a draft reform plan for public comment in early September 2008.

> Keep Reading
Report | CALPIRG Education Fund | Health Care

Diagnosing the High Cost of Health Care

California spends billions of health care dollars on unnecessary treatments and services, administrative waste, and overpriced, sometimes harmful, medications. By finding ways to cut waste in its health care system and to reform an incentive structure that encourages overspending, California can reduce the burden that health care costs impose on our economy.

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Priority Action

We're calling on big restaurant chains to stop the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms. Tell KFC to stop serving meat raised on routine antibiotics.

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