Public Citizen’s own healthcare policy advocate Vijay Das co-wrote an Op-Ed for Univision with health insurance industry executive turned consumer advocate Wendell Potter about the need for Medicaid expansion for undocumented adults. Following the narrative of Isabel Sanches, a mother of three living in East Los Angeles, the piece demonstrates that while legislation that would expand the Affordable Care Act to allow undocumented adults to purchase plans on the marketplace does not help the nearly 1.4 million undocumented individuals that earn incomes to qualify for Medicaid in California alone. You can read more from the piece below.

Isabel Sanches and her husband moved from Michoacán, Mexico to East Los Angeles twenty years ago. They crossed the southern border in search for a better life, job, a good neighborhood to raise their three sons free of street violence and poverty. Like many 40 somethings, Isabel is starting to frequent the doctor more. Despite learning English and attending community college, she remains a heart attack, a slip, a fall away from financial ruin.

Isabel is among California’s 2.67 million undocumented residents, the largest share in the nation. She is banned from buying an Obamacare plan.

However unfair, that was written into the Affordable Care Act. Through My Health L.A., Isabel is lucky to live in a county that covers undocumented adults. But this program is overwhelmed with patients. It’s not meant to address her chronic health problems.

In California at least, things are improving.

You can read the rest of the article here.

By Anisha Sehgal

Pharma Part B infographicDuring election season, Americans across the country hear politicians make grand statements on how they will look out for the good, hard-working people of their state and push for progress that will benefit us all. As we watch them head off to Washington we expect or at least hope that they will deliver on their promises and act in a manner that looks out for our best interests.

However, a recent Public Citizen report on the role of corporate money in politics has revealed the strong influence donations can have on swaying lawmakers’ support on big issues. We are in the midst of a contentious debate regarding the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) proposed Medicare Part B demonstration, a proposal strongly opposed by the pharmaceutical industry. Public Citizen’s new study reveals that members of Congress who opposed or were critical of the reform on average received 82% more in campaign contributions for the 2016 election cycle from the pharmaceutical and health products industry than rank and file members who did not take a stance against the reform.

Continue Reading

Today, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and several others are introducing a resolution that links the current denial of climate science to the campaigns by tobacco companies and chemical and lead companies to deny the now well-known harms of tobacco and lead products (primarily lead paint and leaded gasoline). Today and tomorrow, nineteen senators are taking to the Senate floor to speak out on the network of climate denial groups. Follow and support the effort with #WebofDenial and #TimetoCallOut.

You can become a citizen co-sponsor of the resolution here.

Here’s my statement on the effort:

We applaud Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and others who are calling attention to the web of denial surrounding the harms from fossil fuels. They are right to draw parallels between the campaign of deception on climate science and those on tobacco and lead products. Climate denial follows a script written by Big Tobacco and the chemical and lead industries: Fund a network of phony think tanks, research institutes and policy shops to sell lies and distortions, foster doubt and stall solutions to clear, immediate dangers to public health.

There is one major difference. If left unchecked, climate change will be far more terrible. Tobacco and lead products have killed or poisoned millions. Today’s climate deniers risk much more terrible harm: heat, drought, famine, disease, mass migration and violent conflict on a scale that threatens human civilization as we know it. If the deniers have their way, they even risk human extinction.

We wholly support senators who are calling out climate denial as the despicably immoral action that it is – and those who are working to mitigate catastrophic climate change by moving the U.S. quickly to a 21st century, zero-carbon energy infrastructure. That shift will create jobs, stimulate the economy, lower energy prices for consumers and, most important, help us preserve our own habitats and civilization.

There may be no greater patriotism in American today than fighting climate change, and no greater disservice than denying the problem and stalling solutions.

And here’s a shareable graphic from our patriotic friends at Desmogblog:

 

This election cycle has reinforced long-held beliefs by many that the nation’s biggest banks need to be broken up. In 2008, American taxpayers bailed out mega-banks after their reckless and destructive behavior and since then Congress has fought about the best way to regulate the banks to ensure that such events will never happen again. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act was introduced to protect consumers in numerous ways, and included several provisions that would reinstate Glass-Steagall, a 1933 bill that separated commercial and investment banking. These policies would help halt some of the risky gambling in big institutions like JPMorgan, Citibank, and Bank of America, but the bill doesn’t go far enough to protect American taxpayers from another crisis.

That’s why Public Citizen continues to support the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act, which would make banks smaller, simpler, and safer.

As a part of the Take on Wall Street campaign, we are calling on Congress to make five policy changes that will help rein in some of the worst of Wall Street’s greed and excesses. One such policy change is the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act which would ensure that the big banks are no longer too big to fail.

What is the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act?

This act, reintroduced by U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Angus King (I-Maine) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), would recreate and update the division between Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insured commercial banks and investment banks. Breaking up the big banks is not enough to prevent another financial crisis, and Glass-Steagall would stop the banks’ reckless gambling with taxpayer money and renew their focus on lending to everyday Americans.

How will it do this?

A modern Glass-Steagall would make banks simpler to manage by restricting their activities to conventional banking, and would drive forward competition for smaller banks to compete against more well-known entities. It would also allow for protection against fluctuations on Wall Street, making the financial sector more resilient.

Will Glass-Steagall be effective in today’s market?

The 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act combines the ideals of the Banking Act of 1933 with an understanding of our current financial reality. Senators Warren and McCain have updated the language to directly regulate the markets and practices that lead to the financial crisis in 2008, such as derivatives and securitization.

What can I do?

Take action at TakeOnWallSt.com to support the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act. There, you’ll be able to sign a petition to tell Congress to reform Wall Street and find a printable one pager on Glass-Steagall.

We hope that you’ll join with Public Citizen and our partners in the next phase of Wall Street reform!

This post was written by Amanda Bragg, a Public Citizen intern.

Bart Naylor at Too Big launchOn June 22, Public Citizen was joined by U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley from Oregon, former congressman Brad Miller of North Carolina, MIT Professor Simon Johnson, University of Maryland Professor Rena Steinzor, and Marcus Stanley of Americans for Financial Reform to celebrate the release of Public Citizen’s latest publication. Too Big: The Mega-Banks Are Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Jail, and Too Big to Manage lays out the reasons why the current regulatory system has allowed mega-banks to remain too large.

Too Big immediately pinpoints the threat to American citizens’ interests as big banks continue to operate without adequate regulation:

“Americans suffered from the financial crisis of the 2008. Adding insult to injury, Americans were compelled to finance bailouts of banks responsible for the crash on the theory that permitting any to fail would cause a cascade of bankruptcies and inflict cataclysmic damage to the economy.

Yet today, the largest banks are even bigger than they were then.”

The book, by Bart Naylor, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division’s financial policy advocate, focuses on commonsense solutions, in the form of regulatory and legislative reforms, to stem the unencumbered power and greed of the mega-banks.

Continue Reading

© Copyright . All Rights Reserved.