Putting Consumers First
We’re putting consumers first – fighting to lower health care, prescription drug and energy bills. We want to ensure all Americans have access to affordable and quality health care, safe drinking water, high-speed internet and a cleaner environment.
- Making health care more affordable and reversing sabotage of health care system: Passed through Full Committee and the Health Subcommittee in April six bills that will make health care more affordable, expand access to care, protect people with pre-existing conditions and reverse the Trump Administration’s sabotage of the Affordable Care Act. Five of the six bills have now passed the full House. One bill H.R. 986, the Protecting Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions Act, was passed on May 9 and four other bills were passed as part of H.R. 987, the Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act on May 16.
- Making prescription drugs more affordable: Chairman Pallone introduced H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, which would empower the government to negotiate lower drug prices for consumers, penalize manufacturers for unfair price hikes, and cap Medicare Part D beneficiaries out-of-pocket expenses at $2,000 per year. On October 17, the bill was favorably passed out of Committee and advanced to the full House for consideration.
- The Full Committee also passed six bills that will help make prescription drugs more affordable by removing barriers that delay more affordable generics from coming to market. The House passed five of these bills on the House floor – two of them passed on May 8 and three of them passed as part of H.R. 987, the Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act on May 16.
- Exposing the impact of the Republican ACA lawsuit on the American health care system: the Health Subcommittee held a hearing on the impacts of the Texas v. United States lawsuit if it were successful, which would cause tens of millions of Americans to lose their health care and eliminate protections for pre-existing conditions. Joined multiple House Committee leaders in sending letters to Trump Administration officials seeking justification for their decision to refuse to defend the ACA in court.
- Taking the “surprise” out of surprise medical bills: Chairman Pallone’s bipartisan “No Surprises Act” passed out of the Committee with unanimous support. The bill would ensure that patients are protected from financially devastating surprise medical bills incurred through no fault of their own. Surprise medical bills often occur in medical emergencies when patients have no ability to ensure they’re receiving care at an in-network facility or after unknowingly receiving care from an out-of-network provider during scheduled care.
- Stopping the youth tobacco epidemic: Chairman Pallone introduced comprehensive legislation to address the recent spike in use of tobacco and e-cigarette products among kids and teens. In October, the Health Subcommittee held a legislative hearing on the proposal to gather feedback from public health experts.
- Protecting consumers’ privacy and data security: Released a Government Accountability Report (GAO) report recommending that Congress develop comprehensive internet data privacy legislation to enhance consumer protections while maintaining flexibility to address a rapidly evolving Internet. Then the Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee held its first privacy hearing this Congress as the Committee begins the process of developing comprehensive privacy and data security legislation.
- Exploring whether consumers are adequately protected online: Over the last few years, bad actors, both foreign and domestic, have increasingly abused the Internet to peddle extremism, disinformation, and hatred that divides our nation. On October 16, a joint subcommittee explored whether online companies are appropriately using the tools they have – including protections Congress granted in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act – to foster a healthier internet.
- Working to stop the onslaught of annoying robocalls: Passed through the Communications and Technology Subcommittee and Full Committee the bipartisan Stopping Bad Robocalls Act, which was then passed by the House on July 24 by a vote of 429-3. The bill ensures every call Americans get will be verified by Caller ID and that consumers can block calls they don’t want, and more.
- Securing America’s wireless future: On September 27, the Communications and Technology Subcommittee held a legislative hearing on seven bills to ensure our nation’s continued dominance in wireless communication, including Chairman Pallone’s bill to secure our telecommunications supply chain. The bills ensure that the government will work more efficiently to promote wireless innovation and better serve all Americans, as well as guarantee our networks are secure from foreign adversaries that may wish to do us harm.
- Protecting consumers from PFAS contamination and exposure: On May 15, the Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee held a legislative hearing on 13 bills to address the PFAS problem. PFAS are persistent chemicals that spread through our water, air and soil. They are also toxic – with studies showing increased cancers, immune impacts and effects on growth, development and fertility.
- Holding the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) accountable for its inability to fulfill its mission of protecting consumers from dangerous products: Passed through the Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee and Full Committee six bills to protect American families from dangerous consumer products. The six bills will save countless lives and ensure the Consumer Product Safety Commission acts quickly to enforce the law and educate consumers about these common household dangers. On September 17, the House of Representatives passed three of these bills by voice vote.
- Exploring ways to protect drivers and their families from driving dangers: Held two hearings in the Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee – one hearing on May 23 on summer driving dangers and a legislative hearing on July 24 on bills to make cars in America safer. Motor vehicle death rates have increased since 2014. Technologies exist that will vastly improve motor vehicle safety, but we must find ways to get them in the hands of all drivers.
- Gun Violence and Public Health: the Health Subcommittee held a field hearing in Chicago to learn more about the gun violence crisis and the need for our public health agencies to conduct research into this ongoing epidemic. The hearing brought together community members, care providers and policy experts for a community-centered discussion on intervention tactics and responses.