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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

As CFPB Escalates Drive Toward Protections, Study Finds CFPB Enforcement Works | Ed Mierzwinski

This month the CFPB issued its proposed rule prohibiting class action bans in small-print mandatory arbitration clauses; in June it is expected to release its high-cost small dollar lending (payday and auto title loan) proposed rule. Meanwhile, as CFPB's industry opponents hide behind astroturf front groups and Congressional opponents use backdoor attacks, a law professor has released a major report finding that "from its inception [in 2011] through 2015 the agency had a 122-and-0 track record in its publicly announced enforcement actions" and that 93% (over $10.5 billion) of funds recovered for consumers have been for deceptive practices -- "[f]ar from a novel legal theory."

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Blog Post | Transportation

Why Is Our Infrastructure So Terrible? | Sean Doyle

America is facing a $1.4 trillion infrastructure funding crisis. This isn't some distant problem; it's already having a real effect on everyday Americans.

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Blog Post | Transportation

Good Things Come to Those On Bikes | Sean Doyle

Pull the bike out of the closet, pump up those tires, and dust off the helmet because it's Bike to Work Week!

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

You might not know this about overdraft fees | Kathryn Lee

Did your bank sell you on the idea that it’s embarrassing for you to have your debit card declined for a $3 cup of coffee, and that you should pay them $35 each time for “overdraft protection”? Those big fees are what’s embarrassing. Unless you say yes to allow fees, you cannot be charged for over-drafting your debit card.

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Blog Post | Transportation

Don’t Believe the Hype – Millennials’ Transportation Habits Are Changing | Sean Doyle

Despite news stories claiming that Millennials are buying up cars at record rates, the reality is quite different. After adjusting previous studies to account for differences in the size of the generations measured, on a per-capita basis, Millennials are 29 percent less likely than members of Generation X to own a car.

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Media Hit | Transportation

Dallas Observer: Latest Red Light Camera Study Questions the System's Financial and Safety Perks

The report, Caution: Red Light Cameras Ahead, examines private companies' agreements with municipalities (about 700 throughout the country) in states that allow automated traffic law enforcement. "Contracts between private camera vendors and cities can include payment incentives that put profit above traffic safety," the report says.

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Media Hit | Health Care

Dallas Morning News: Texas receives 'incomplete' on health insurance exchange report card

Texas is among 24 states, including neighbors Arkansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico, that got an "incomplete" in a scorecard on health insurance exchanges that was released Tuesday by a consumer group's research arm.

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News Release | TexPIRG | Health Care

Nationwide Study of New Health Exchanges Shows Texas How to Lower Costs for Consumers

Many states are creating health exchanges to deliver better value for consumers, and Texas should follow their lead, according to Making the Grade, a new report by the Texas Public Interest Research Group (TexPIRG).  Health exchanges are competitive marketplaces that can empower individuals and small businesses with better, more affordable options for coverage.  Under the federal health reform law, each state will have an exchange up and running in 2014.

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News Release | TexPIRG | Food

Ag Subsidies Pay for 19 Twinkies per Taxpayer, But Only a Quarter of an Apple Apiece

Federal subsidies for commodity crops are also subsidizing junk food additives like high fructose corn syrup, enough to pay for 19 Twinkies per taxpayer every year, according to Apples to Twinkies, a new report by TexPIRG.   Meanwhile, limited subsidies for fresh fruits and vegetables would buy less than a quarter of an apple per taxpayer.

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Media Hit | Health Care

Dallas Morning News: New law changing health care, costs for many Texans

 

While state GOP leaders rail against it, the federal health insurance law signed by President Barack Obama last year is increasingly changing care and costs for many Texans. Since Jan. 1, as a result of the law, tens of thousands of retirees and disabled people on Medicare have received free preventive care — and partial relief from a “doughnut hole” that’s a big financial hit if they have high drug costs. Last year, nearly a quarter-million Texans received doughnut hole rebates of $250 per person.

 

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