Consumers Union Commends Senate on Burwell Confirmation

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Consumers Union Commends Senate on Burwell Confirmation

Group Urges New Secretary to Make Rate Transparency a Priority

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Senate today voted to confirm Sylvia Mathews Burwell as the new Secretary of Health and Human Services in a 78-17 vote.

DeAnn Friedholm, Director of Health Reform for Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, said, “We look forward to working with the Secretary in her critical role continuing the implementation and successful enrollment under the Affordable Care Act. The bipartisan support shown in today’s vote is just one of the signs that Ms. Burwell is well suited for the job. She has a record of strong leadership to bring to her new position and we commend the Senate for confirming her today.”

With insurers in the process of filing their rates for 2015, Consumers Union is urging Burwell to make releasing all insurance rate filing information to the public a priority in her new role. The consumer group, joined by 70 groups across the country, recently sent a letter to HHS asking for swift action to ensure transparency and accountability around insurers’ health premium rate increase requests. Though HHS has stated that most, if not all, rate information is to be made public, it has not yet been made available by the agency.

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Media contact: David Butler, dbutler@consumer.org, or Kara Kelber, kkelber@consumer.org202-462-6262

Consumers Union is the public policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports. Consumers Union works for health reform, food and product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace. Consumer Reports is the world’s largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually.  Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website, and other publications.www.ConsumersUnion.org