News Release

New Report: Without Reform, Health Costs Will doubleEconomic Recovery Bill and Broader Health Reform Urgently Needed

For Immediate Release

Without Reform, Health Costs Will doub

AUSTIN, TX— Without action from Congress, premiums and deductibles for residents of Texas with employer provided insurance will nearly double by 2016, according to a new report released today by the Texas Public Interest Research Group.

“Unchecked, health care premiums will double by 2016,” said Melissa Cubria, Advocate and Spokeswoman for the Texas Public Interest Research Group. “The health care reforms in President Obama’s economic recovery plan are indispensable first steps to addressing this crisis.”

 TexPIRG attributes these high costs to wasteful health spending and the insurance and pharmaceutical industries that profit from it.  The report concludes that one out of three dollars spent on health care fuels profits for special interests without delivering better health care for patients.

The report spotlights two important categories of wasteful health spending in Texas:

$16.7 billion each year was spent on inappropriate, ineffective and uncoordinated care which can actually cause harm to patients.

An estimated $2.8 billion of state health spending in red tape is created by bloated insurance company bureaucracy.

Cubria lauds the recovery plan’s $24.1billion investment in the health care infrastructure. Cubria states, “This legislation funding of health information technology, evidence-based prevention, and comparative effectiveness research will enable reforms which we discuss in the report.”

The U.S. PIRG report calls for additional longer-term reforms that crack down on drug company marketing, rein in insurance industry red tape, and reform provider payment to encourage more effective medical care.

“This year, a new President and a new Congress have an opportunity to pass broad health reform that tames the waste, inefficiency, and skewed incentives that drive up our health care costs,” noted Cubria. “Texas’ families can’t afford to miss this opportunity.” 

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