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Report | US PIRG Education Fund | COVID-19

Nursing home safety during COVID: Staff shortages

For most of last year, more than 200,000 people at any given time were in nursing homes that themselves acknowledged they were suffering from staff shortages.

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News Release | US PIRG | COVID-19

Nursing homes still don’t have enough masks, gowns, other PPE

A new analysis by the U.S. PIRG Education Fund and Frontier Group found that 8 percent of nursing homes nationwide had a critical shortage of surgical-grade N95 masks, as of Dec. 27. And 4 to 6 percent of homes reported shortages in at least one other category of PPE.

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Blog Post | COVID-19, Public Health

Nursing homes still don’t have enough masks, gowns and other PPE | Teresa Murray

Shortages improved during the fall but worsened in December

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Blog Post

Right to Repair off to the races in 2021 with 14 active states | Nathan Proctor

2021 is shaping up to be a big year for our efforts to secure your right to fix your stuff.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG | Consumer Protection

Statement: CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger resigns

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Kathy Kraninger submitted her resignation Wednesday soon after the inauguration of new President Joe Biden. Resignation opens seat for President Biden’s new nominee Rohit Chopra.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG

Advocates say to remove barriers to fixing ventilators, other COVID-19-related medical equipment

“In order to keep equipment that is critical to treating COVID-19 working, with the least possible downtime, medical device manufacturers should immediately release all repair documentation and software, schematics and manuals for that equipment, especially ventilators,” said U.S. PIRG Right to Repair campaign director Nathan Proctor. “The fastest repair service is when hospital technicians have what they need to do repairs in-house, or can hire qualified technicians at their discretion. Preventing repair is generally a bad idea. That is even more true in a crisis, when systems are under stress. It could mean the difference between life and death."

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News Release | U.S. PIRG

Bill introduced to protect Americans’ credit scores during coronavirus crisis

U.S. Sens. Brian Schatz (HI) and Sherrod Brown (OH), both members of the Senate Banking Committee, introduced new legislation Tuesday to minimize the adverse impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on Americans’ credit reports. Ed Mierzwinski, senior director for U.S. PIRG’s Federal Consumer Programs, issued a statement in response.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG

Bailouts for fracking, cruise lines, other non-essential industries the wrong response to coronavirus crisis

The novel coronavirus demands a strong government response to stabilize the daily lives of Americans and the systems we depend on. Congress and the president must focus on addressing the urgent health crisis and meeting the immediate needs of Americans -- not rush through hastily drawn-up bailouts to industries that harm our health or are not essential to Americans’ daily lives right now.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG

New COVID-19 testing chief should implement plan to ramp up testing in next 7 days

U.S. PIRG is calling on the Assistant Secretary for Health Adm. Brett Giroir, the recently appointed head of the Trump administration’s COVID-19 testing response, to immediately adopt the plan put forward by former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner David Kessler, MD. The plan would help ensure that testing capacity is ramped up over the next seven days--a crucial window in which we may be able to limit the severity of the outbreak--so that anyone who needs a test will get a test.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Coronavirus worry triggers most surgical mask, sanitizer prices to spike at least 50% on Amazon

As the Coronvirus outbreak became more widespread, the price of most of the sanitizers and masks rose at least 50 percent higher than the 90-day average. Even one in six products sold directly by Amazon saw prices rise at least 50 percent higher in February

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Report | U.S. Public Interest Research Group and National Taxpayers Union | Budget

Toward Common Ground: Bridging the Political Divide to Reduce Spending

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) and National Taxpayers Union (NTU) have joined together to propose a list of 30 specific recommendations to reform our future spending commitments. If enacted in their entirety, these changes would save taxpayers over $600 billion in total by 2015, the target date for the Fiscal Commission to reduce our publicly-held debt-to- GDP ratio to a more sustainable level of 60 percent.

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The Young Person's Guide to Health Insurance

For people in their late teens and twenties, getting health insurance can be a lot like a lottery . . .

If you’re lucky, your parents have a good plan that covers you while you are in school or your employer picks up the tab. If you’re not, your options shrink to two: a plan offering good coverage that you can’t afford, or a plan you can afford that covers little to nothing.

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Report | Health Care

The Three Trillion Dollar Question: What Health Care Reform Can Save For Families, Businesses and Taxpayers

Without health care reform, the United States is projected to spend over $40 trillion on health care in the next decade.  Experts estimate that thirty percent of that spending – up to $12 trillion dollars – will be wasted on ineffective care, pointless red tape, and counterproductive treatments that can actually harm patients.  

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Report | U.S. PIRG | Safe Energy

The High Cost of Nuclear Power: Why America Should Choose a Clean Energy Future Over New Nuclear Reactors

Nuclear power is among the most costly approaches to solving America’s energy problems. Per dollar of investment, clean energy solutions – such as energy efficiency and renewable resources – deliver far more energy than nuclear power.

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Report | U.S. PIRG | Consumer Protection, Transportation

Private Roads Public Costs: The Facts About Toll Road Privatization and How to Protect the Public

A growing number of states are considering arrangements in which a private operator provides an up-front payoff or builds a new road in return for decades of escalating toll receipts. The report assesses these deals and identifies a number of problems.

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips, COVID-19

COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments are peddled in new scams | Teresa Murray

Con-artists are preying on people's fear of infection or desperation for money

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Blog Post | Public Health

Nursing homes across the country still need more PPE | Teresa Murray

It’s unconscionable that some of our most vulnerable populations and their caregivers are being put in such danger during a global pandemic. But it doesn’t have to be this way — not if our country acts right now to ramp up production and distribution of PPE to where it’s needed most.

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Blog Post | Transportation

Nader's "Unsafe At Any Speed" 55th Anniversary! | Ed Mierzwinski

Today, on the 55th anniversary of Ralph Nader's landmark "Unsafe at Any Speed," about the built-in dangers of 1960s cars, as exemplified by the General Motors Corvair, his colleagues led by Joan Claybrook have published a new report: "Safer Vehicles and Highways: 4.2 million U.S. Lives Spared Since 1966." The report makes recommendations to President-elect Joe Biden about how to revitalize and strengthen the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which Claybrook ran during the Jimmy Carter administration.

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips, COVID-19, Public Health

20 Questions to Ask Your Nursing Home during COVID | Teresa Murray

Whether you have a loved one currently in a nursing home or rehabilitation facility, or whether you’re shopping for one, you should arm yourself with a list of questions to gauge how safe the environment is. Here’s a guide to those questions, and the answers you should expect.

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Blog Post

California is uncovering secret ingredients in cosmetics

The FDA allows cosmetic companies to hide toxic fragrance ingredients from consumers. But this fall, California passed a landmark bill to change this.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG

BOSTON - The Student PIRGs, a student environmental organizing group, is partnering with local organizations, student governments and elected officials to host in-person and virtual actions to celebrate Youth Earth Week, a national effort of more than 250 actions around the country to protect the environment, from April 19 to 23.

Blog Post

The United States is in need of an infrastructure overhaul.

Blog Post

Millions of Americans stand on the wrong side of the digital divide. It’s time we fix that.

Blog Post

When consumers don’t have time to wait for authorized repair, they shouldn’t be faulted for finding alternatives.

News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

A new survey from U.S. PIRG Education Fund finds all 43 appliance manufacturers we surveyed would consider voiding the warranty if a device had “unauthorized” repair, despite a 2018 warning from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Transportation

'Build Back Better' plan would transform America's infrastructure

President Biden's infrastructure package takes a fix-it-first approach toward repairing the nation's highways and bridges, and includes key provisions for expanding electric transportation, getting the lead out of drinking water, and strengthening the electric grid.

 

Solid Waste

Toxic waste cleanups are lagging. We need polluters to pay to clean up their messes.

The United States has a toxic waste problem. But as the financial burden for cleaning up that waste has shifted primarily to taxpayers, cleanups are lagging behind.

 

Solid Waste

Nation's strongest plastic waste bill returns to Congress

The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act would install a national bottle bill, ban some of the worst single-use plastics, and shift more financial responsibility for collecting and processing plastic waste onto plastics producers.

 

Solid Waste

To boost the country's recycling rates, we need an accurate measurement

The Environmental Protection Agency set a goal of boosting the United States' recycling rate from 32 to 50 percent by 2030. We commend this target — but there are a few things we first need to fix about how the agency counts "recycling."

 

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This Earth Day

Let's work together to move companies, our state, our nation and ourselves beyond plastic.




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