Cautious Consumers Prosper on Cyber Monday – National Consumers League

By John Breyault, Vice President of Public Policy, Telecommunications and Fraud

As Americans return to work after a long Thanksgiving holiday weekend, millions will log on to the Internet is search of deals to help fill the stockings of friends and family members.  “Cyber Monday” – the Monday after Thanksgiving – has become an annual tradition for online retailers eager to snap up sales.  A casual review of some of the more popular online stores will show a plethora of discounts, free shipping offers, and other come-ons to lure e-shoppers.

According to Information Systems Audit and Control Association, a non-profit IT professionals group, employees will spend 14.4 hours shopping from their desks this holiday season.  For both consumers and their employers, it’s important to follow some “rules of the road” when it comes to shopping online – on Cyber Monday or any other time.  That’s why NCL released ten tips to help consumers shop safely online this holiday season.

In addition to those ten tips, here are some extra precautions to keep in mind when shopping online:

  • Be doubly careful with using mobile phones for online shopping. A desktop computer’s browser may be more secure that a mobile phone’s browser.
  • Don’t use the same login/password combination for each online shopping site.  Many sites require users to create an account before products can be purchased. Don’t use the same login and password for each site.  This will prevent hackers who have compromised your information for one site from using the same information to make purchases at a different site.
  • Be wary of ads that appear on search engine results or in social networking sites.  There is no guarantee that you’ll be sent to the site you think you’re getting.  See for more information.
  • Even if you’re shopping online, keep in mind growing holiday debt. The Consumer Federation of America recently offered some great tips for keeping holiday debt under control.  Not only is this good advice financially, but consumers in trouble because of debt are also more likely to fall victim to scammers offering a way out of debt.
  • If you’ve been scammed, report it. The only way that scam websites will be put out of commission is if consumers raise the alarm.  File complaints with your local Better Business Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission, your state Attorney General’s office, or

Consumer advice: Don’t let scams ruin your Cyber Monday shopping experience – National Consumers League

November 24, 2009

Contact: (202) 835-3323, 

Washington, D.C.- As Americans return to the workplace next Monday after the long holiday weekend, many will spend a portion of their day surfing the Internet for deals from online retailers. Monday, November 30 is known as “Cyber Monday,” what the retail industry claims to be one of, if not the, busiest Internet shopping days of the year, and with more and more consumers opting to avoid the mall, e-shopping next week is expected to be higher than ever. According to the National Retail Federation, 53.5 percent of workers with Internet access, or 68.8 million people, will shop for holiday gifts from work this holiday season; three-fourths (73.8 percent) of young adults 18-24 with Internet access will shop at work, and men are more likely to shop from work than women (56.3 percent vs. 50.8 percent).

Whether consumers do their shopping online at the workplace or at home, advocates are reminding them to practice safe e-shopping habits in the coming weeks and year-round. “The Internet can make your shopping faster and easier, but there can also be pitfalls if you’re not careful,” said Sally Greenberg, executive director of the National Consumers League, which today released its top ten tips for avoiding cyber grinches and scams this holiday season. “There are ways to ensure you have a safe online shopping experience, so that gift-giving is a joyous occasion, not an opportunity for cyber thieves.”

  1. Don’t shop online on an unencrypted or open wireless network. An airport or coffee shop’s wireless network is not an appropriate place to conduct financial transactions. Entering personal financial information over an unsecured connection may leave your computer open the to hackers and thieves to capture your financial information. Home Wi-Fi networks can also be compromised, so consumers should find out how to secure their connections.
  1. Secure your computer before shopping online. Before connecting to the Internet or shopping online, take the following three core protections: 1) Install anti-virus and anti-spyware programs and keep them up to date; 2) Install a personal firewall; 3) Regularly update operating system and anti-virus programs to current protections.
  1. Know who you’re dealing with. Before shopping online with an unknown e-store, check out the seller and be sure to get the name and physical address of the vendor in case something goes wrong. If you’re buying gifts on an online auction site, check the track record of the seller before you bid.
  1. Pay the safest way – by credit card, especially when you’re purchasing something that will be delivered later. Under federal law you can dispute the charges if you don’t get what you were promised. You may also dispute unauthorized charges on your credit card. Many card issues have “zero liability” policies under which you pay nothing if someone steals your credit card number and uses it. Increasingly, debit cards are also offering good protections, so check with your bank to learn more about protections offered.
  1. Only shop on safe sites. When providing payment information, the Web site URL address should change from “http” to “https,” (or, less frequently, “shttp”) indicating that the purchase is encrypted or secured. Look for an icon on the browser (generally in the bottom right of the window), such as an image of a padlock closing, to indicate that the page is secure.
  1. Don’t fall for a phishing email or pop-up. Legitimate companies don’t send unsolicited email messages asking for your password, login name, or your financial information. But scammers do, and it’s called “phishing.” Crooks often send emails that look like they’re from legitimate companies – but direct you to click on a link, where they ask for your personal information. Delete these emails.
  1. Be careful when shopping for a gift in an online auction. Consumers sometimes turn to auctions for harder-to-find collectibles or expensive electronics. Understand how the auction works, and check out the seller’s reputation before you bid. Use safe ways to pay, like a credit card. If you use a 3rd party payment system, read the terms carefully to understand what protection, if any, it offers if you don’t receive what you were promised. Always ask about terms of delivery and return options. Be especially wary of auctions that ask for payment via wire transfer.
  1. Turn your computer off when you’re finished shopping. Many people leave their computers running 24/7, the dream scenario for scammers who want to install malicious software—“malware”—on your machine and then control it remotely to enable them to commit cyber crime. To be extra safe, switch off your computer when you are not using it.
  1. Don’t be tempted by offers of free money. Con artists take advantage of cash-strapped consumers during the holidays to offer personal loans or credit cards for a fee upfront. These scammers simply take the money and run. Beware of emails offering loans or credit, especially if you have credit problems.
  1. Visit to learn more about protecting yourself from online scams year-round and to report suspicious sites, sellers, or scams. You don’t have to be a victim to report a scam, and your information will help law enforcement go after cyber grinches.

Above all, look into the business or individual with whom you are doing business before making the transaction. For more information on avoiding scams throughout the year, visit


This Holiday, Give Thanks for Safe Food – National Consumers League

By Courtney Brein, Linda Golodner Food Safety and Nutrition Fellow

Thanksgiving unites families and friends to enjoy each other’s company and focus on that for which they are grateful, but the large holiday dinner can also invite foodborne illness, without the proper precautions. Reduce your family’s risks by following a few simple tips before, during, and after your holiday meal.

Before the Meal

Thawing the Turkey

  • If buying a frozen turkey, remember that whole turkeys take approximately 24 hours to thaw in the refrigerator for every four to five pounds of weight (ex: a ten pound bird will require two full days to thaw). Thawing in the refrigerator is the safest option and results in the best finished product. Place the turkey in a shallow pan on a refrigerator shelf, leaving the bird in its original packaging.
  • If absolutely necessary, it is possible to thaw your turkey in cold water. Leave the bird in its original packaging and submerge it in a clean sink or pan filled with cold water. The turkey will thaw at a rate of approximately 30 minutes per pound, and the water should be changed every 30 minutes. Immediately cook the turkey as soon as it is thawed. Never leave a turkey on the counter to defrost.
  • Purchasing a fresh turkey eliminates the need to thaw; however, fresh turkeys should be purchased no more than one to two days before the meal and should be kept refrigerated until cooking.

Preparing for Cooking and Leftovers

  • Make room in your refrigerator for ingredients, and plan your menu – and your guests’ contributions – accordingly. Ideally, ask guests to bring items that do not require refrigeration.
  • Have plenty of paper towels or clean cloth towels available for cleaning surfaces, blotting rinsed fruit and vegetables, and drying hands.
  • Have plenty of storage containers with lids on hand for safely saving leftovers.


  • Always wash hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds, both before and after handling food items, particularly raw ones.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly, paying particular attention to those that will not be cooked.


  • Keep raw poultry, meat, and eggs away from other foods to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Clean all surfaces that come in contact with raw meat or poultry – such as cutting boards, utensils, dishes, and countertops – with hot, soapy water or a bleach solution.
  • If marinating raw meat or poultry, discard any unused marinade.
  • Use a meat thermometer to determine when your turkey or other items have been cooked to a safe temperature. Whole birds and chicken breasts should be cooked to 165˚F, egg dishes and pork to 160˚F, and steaks and roasts to 145˚F. When checking the internal temperature of a turkey, insert the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, avoiding the bone. Also check the temperatures in the thickest part of the breast, as well as in the innermost part of the thigh and wing, ensuring that all areas have reached a minimum of 165˚F. Approximate cooking times for stuffed and unstuffed birds of various sizes are available at

During the Meal


  • Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold – dishes should remain in the oven or refrigerator until your guests sit down to dinner.
  • Hot foods should be at least 140˚F and cold foods 40˚F or cooler.


  • Time your dinner and dessert appropriately so that leftovers sit out for as short a time as possible – in as little as two hours, foods left at room temperature can grow harmful bacteria.

After the Meal


  • Leftovers should be refrigerated as quickly as possible. Anything not refrigerated within two hours should be thrown away.
  • Hot foods should be stored in shallow containers with lids. It is fine to put items in the refrigerator while they are still warm.
  • Remove stuffing from the bird and carve any extra meat from the bones before storing leftover turkey.
  • Never put leftover condiments, such as ketchup or pickles, back into their original containers.
  • Leftovers stored in the fridge should be consumed within three to four days. Cooked turkey can be stored in the freezer for three to four months. When reheating leftovers, ensure that foods reach 165˚F throughout.

Consumers and Artists Unlikely to Benefit from Ticketmaster-Live Nation “Synergies” – National Consumers League

By John Breyault, Vice President of Public Policy, Telecommunications and Fraud

Consumers and artists would be the likely losers if the proposed merger of ticketing giant Ticketmaster and concert management behemoth Live Nation were allowed to proceed. The reported entry of cable company Comcast into the merger negotiations does nothing to alleviate the very serious concerns that consumer groups like NCL have conveyed to legislators and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

That was the message that NCL sent to policymakers on Thursday when we released a joint statement opposing the merger in coordination with the National Association of Ticket Brokers, Consumer Action, Consumer Federation of America (CFA), and Knowledge Ecology International. Noted the groups:

“There seems to be little dispute after extensive Congressional hearings that the merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation raises very profound competitive concerns. That is why fifty Members of Congress – an unprecedented number – have written to the DOJ with concerns about the merger. The Department of Justice has a unique opportunity to protect consumers by preventing this anticompetitive merger and preserving competition and choice in the marketplace.”

Thursday’s action came on the heels of a September 11 letter NCL, Consumer Action, and CFA sent to Christine Varney, Assistant Attorney General of the DOJ’s Antitrust Division expressing our concern about the merger. Then, as now, we remain extremely concerned that the merger would result in higher ticket prices for consumers, who have been paying Ticketmaster’s exorbitant “convenience fees” for years. All the while, company has busily gobbled up smaller competitors (remember Ticketron?) in the ticketing industry. Live Nation attempted to become a competitor in the ticketing business, a move which many believe prompted the bid by Ticketmaster. This move is one of the big reasons why we are calling on the DOJ to strongly consider blocking this merger.

As an organization strongly dedicated to advocating on behalf of workers as well as consumers, we are also concerned about the impact the proposed merger will have on artists. It is already difficult for artists to put on a show without using Ticketmaster’s ticketing services or performing in a Live Nation venue. Should the merger be approved, we fear that artists’ choices for who manages their ticket sales and their concerts would diminish even further.

We look forward to working with the DOJ and our partners in the consumers and industry communities to make sure consumers and artists are not the ultimate losers from this merger.

Hunger in America Startling – National Consumers League

By Sally Greenberg, National Consumers League Executive Director

Last week, the Department of Agriculture revealed a startling statistic: the number of Americans who live with persistent hunger day in and day out has soared to 49 million over the past year – an increase of 13 million people. This is the highest number since the United States began tracking “food insecurity” 14 years ago. One third of those people have “very low food security,” which means lack of money is forcing families to skip meals, cut portions or forgo food at some point over the past year.

This 49 million is a difficult number to grasp. I don’t understand how, in a country where some Wall Street firms are giving double-digit millions in bonuses this year, we can allow people to go hungry. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack rightly noted, “These numbers are a wake-up call for the country.” President Obama reacted as well, saying the study was “particularly troubling.”

One of the findings is especially sad: 506,000 households with children face “very low food security,” up from 323,000 the year before. Not surprisingly, households headed by single mothers are overrepresented. The main reason for these disturbing numbers is the growth in the number of Americans who are unemployed. Food stamp rolls have expanded to 36 million, an increase of nearly 40 percent. Thank goodness for programs like food stamps and unemployment compensation. These are part of the New Deal programs that Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor under FDR, championed and got enacted with her New Deal Colleagues. Perkins was NCL’s New York director in the first decade of the 20th Century.

This country of 300 million people is full of ironies. One of six of us doesn’t have enough food to eat week to week, while millions of others have an overabundance of food choices and the money to buy whatever we want to eat. In fact, we diet, exercise, and resist eating too much. America has an abundance of ingenuity and the wealth to tackle even the toughest problems – so why can’t we solve this one and ensure that every person in America has enough to eat in this?

I look for answers to groups like the Food Research and Action Committee, or FRAC, a national nonprofit that builds private-public partnerships to combat hunger in America.

Still – we shouldn’t need an organization like FRAC – yet this latest report underscores that we need this group and others who fight hunger more than ever. Sad but true.

National consumer protection and industry groups issue joint statement on the Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger investigation – National Consumers League

November 19, 2009

Contact: (202) 835-3323,

WASHINGTON, DC–Consumer and industry groups, including the National Association of Ticket Brokers, the National Consumers League, the Consumer Federation of America, Consumer Action, and Knowledge Ecology International today released the following joint statement on the ongoing Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger as the Department of Justice (DOJ) moves into final phase of consideration. There have been press reports of potential settlements of the Justice Department investigation, and further reports that Comcast Corporation has met with DOJ officials regarding their participation in the proposed merger.

“There seems to be little dispute after extensive Congressional hearings that the merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation raises very profound competitive concerns. That is why fifty Members of Congress – an unprecedented number – have written to the DOJ with concerns about the merger. The Department of Justice has a unique opportunity to protect consumers by preventing this anticompetitive merger and preserving competition and choice in the marketplace.”

“Ticketmaster is well aware that their plans will give them unchecked power to take advantage of consumers who will have no other ticket options. Suggested proposals for a modest spin-off or some other type of remedy are insufficient to protect consumers. Bringing more corporate interests to the table appears to be their last ditch attempt to pretend there are no competitive problems and fool the public – and the authorities – into believing they won’t have full control over tickets, venues, artists, and prices. But that’s clearly not the case.”

The groups noted that the merger proposed by Ticketmaster would be a “disaster” for consumers. The ticketing giant would gain full access to competitive information in the market and unprecedented control over each aspect of the industry from artist management to concert promotion, including ticket distribution and concession stands. This will make transparency and accountability impossible. It will also prevent competitors from entering the market, thereby reducing options for fans and creating a monopoly on the industry.

“Any proposed concessions to DOJ, including transferring some assets to other corporations with relationships to Ticketmaster are non-starters. They will not protect consumers from the looming threat of monopolistic control. Ticketmaster may also propose to agree to some type of limits on their behavior post merger, but for a firm that exploits consumers on a daily basis, those promises are simply not credible. The DOJ has every right, and responsibility, to block this merger and protect what remains of an open, competitive, and consumer-friendly market.”


About the National Association of Ticket Brokers

The National Association of Ticket Brokers, formed in 1994, is the non-profit trade association dedicated to protecting consumers and the secondary ticket market. For more information on NATB and consumer protection efforts, please visit

About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit

About the Consumer Federation of America

The Consumer Federation of America is a non-profit association of more than 280 groups that, since 1968, has sought to advance the consumer interest through advocacy and education.  For more information, please visit

About Consumer Action

Consumer Action, founded in 1971, is a national non-profit consumer education organization headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Los Angeles and Washington, DC.  For more information, please visit

About Knowledge Ecology International

Knowledge Ecology International is a non-profit public interest organization, supporting work carried out earlier by the Consumer Project on Technology (CPTech), an organization that has participated in a number of merger reviews, including those involving legal publishing, retail distribution, and media concentration and telecommunications regulation.

Consumer watchdog to FDA: Mislabeled food products a bad ‘Choice’ for consumers – National Consumers League

November 19, 2009

New Cranberry Skins Product Falsely Posing as Sweetened Dried Cranberries

Contact: (202) 835-3323,

Washington, DC–Today the National Consumers League (NCL) called on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate misleading labeling involving a new food product, Ocean Spray’s “Choice.” According to NCL, the nation’s oldest consumer advocacy organization, the product is sold to food manufacturers as a “sweetened dried cranberry” but contains more sugar than actual fruit and is made from cranberry skins – not whole cranberries.

“Sweetened dried cranberries (SDCs) have become the common or usual name for a popular ingredient in a variety of foods, capitalizing on the healthy image of cranberries and cranberry juice,” wrote Sally Greenberg, NCL Executive Director, in a letter to the FDA. The consumer group is concerned that, because this product is being sold as a “sweetened dried cranberry” for manufacturers’ use in breakfast cereals, cereal bars, baked goods, and trail mixes, it has the potential to result in the mislabeling of these food products.

NCL’s request that FDA investigate Ocean Spray’s Choice product is the latest in the organization’s longtime work in food safety, nutrition, and truth-in-labeling advocacy. After NCL called on the FDA to investigate claims made by Cheerios®-maker General Mills last fall, this spring the federal agency issued a cease-and-desist letter to the cereal manufacturer because the health claims exceed those permitted for food products. In August, NCL sued General Mills in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia for continuing to claim that eating Cheerios® would reduce total and “bad” cholesterol.

The mislabeling of sugar-heavy products such as dried fruit, according to NCL, is of particular interest to consumers who may seek the nutrition benefits of sweetened dried cranberries without realizing they’re eating—and paying for—something that is actually quite different.

SDCs are the fastest-growing segment of the cranberry market and traditionally consist of dried cranberries that have been infused with sugar and coated with a small amount of sunflower oil. Ocean Spray Cranberries Ingredient Technology Group recently introduced the “Choice” product to food manufacturers as a less expensive alternative to SDCs on the market. Foods currently on the market that NCL believes contain Ocean Spray Choice SDC are Ann’s House Good Health Energy (a blend of soy nuts, cranberries, almonds and pumpkin kernels); Nature Valley Fruit Bars; and Pepperidge Farm Chewy Granola Cookies.

Laboratory analyses by Krueger Food Laboratories, commissioned by NCL, on November 4, 2009, found that “Choice” is really little more than cranberry skin infused with sugar syrup, consisting primarily of inverted beet sugar and citric acid. These characteristics are inconsistent with products using whole cranberries. The cranberry content is so small that Ocean Spray must add color in the form of elderberry juice concentrate and acidity in the form of citric acid to simulate the color and acidity of cranberries. These findings are consistent with Ocean Spray’s own claims that it uses 50 percent fewer cranberries to make “Choice” than the regular SDC product. Ocean Spray’s marketing materials tout “Choice” as a low-cost SDC with the same taste, texture, appearance, and health benefits as other SDCs.

“Because of its minimal cranberry content and use of other ingredients to simulate the flavor and color of cranberries, Ocean Spray’s Choice product should not be named ‘sweetened dried cranberries,” said Greenberg. “We question whether the word ‘cranberries’ should be allowed at all in the name of this product.”

In addition, NCL said that the product label’s ingredients declaration, which lists cranberries as the predominant ingredient, is misleading and inaccurate.” Greenberg stated that “according to our lab analyses, this is false and should be corrected to list sugar as the predominant ingredient.” All food labels are required to list ingredients in descending order of predominance by weight.

To read NCL’s letter to the FDA or to learn more about NCL’s work in food safety and nutrition, visit


Why Wait? Cut Health Care Costs Now! – National Consumers League

“Seven hundred billion dollars. That’s a ballpark estimate of how much money is wasted in the U.S. medical system every single year, according to a new Thomson Reuters (TRI) report.”

With all eyes on Washington and debates over improving our health care system, a new BusinessWeek story examines  10 ways — aside from health care reform — to lower health-care costs and improve patient care, like improving the health of our workforce, cracking down on fraud in the health care system, and more. And NCL’s new medication adherence campaign, which is in the planning stages, made the story!  Read it here.

What Lessons Can We Learn from FDR on Health Care? – National Consumers League

By Sally Greenberg, NCL Executive Director

This past week, I heard Frances Perkins’ biographer, Kirsten Downey, speak at Columbia University. Perkins, the first female Cabinet member who served faithfully during all of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s four terms, got her professional start working for the National Consumers League. After hearing Florence Kelley, NCL’s first general secretary, speak at her college, Mt. Holyoke, Perkins was inspired to devote her career to improving the lives of American workers.

Perkins is credited with shepherding through many of the New Deal programs we now associate with the social safety net: Social Security, unemployment insurance, workers compensation, Medicare, and Medicaid. She, FDR, and other members of his Cabinet were accused of being socialists and communists, of orchestrating a government takeover and other calumnies from the right.

But an opinion piece I read this fall has me thinking about how Perkins and FDR might have been able to move legislation forward on health care reform. Jean Edward Smith wrote in the New York Times that:

… “President Obama’s apparent readiness to backtrack on the public insurance option in his health care package is not just a concession to his political opponents — this fixation on securing bipartisan support for health care reform suggests that the Democratic Party has forgotten how to govern and the White House has forgotten how to lead…. the principal legislative innovations of the 1930s were enacted over the vigorous opposition of a deeply entrenched minority. Majority rule, as Roosevelt saw it, did not require his opponents’ permission.”

Perhaps Smith is being a bit harsh on President Obama, but the difference in styles is interesting. Our President is intent on being a uniter — a good thing in a leader — but these days unity is pretty darn hard to accomplish. According to Smith, FDR didn’t aim for consensus with his enemies: “Roosevelt relished the opposition of vested interests. He fashioned his governing majority by deliberately attacking those who favored the status quo. His opponents hated him — and he profited from their hatred.” Add NCL’s Frances Perkins and Florence Kelley to the list of those vilified for their efforts to create a social safety net.

Unlike Obama, FDR didn’t seek to unite – he used his opponents’ vitriol to shore up his side of the argument. As Smith notes, “To Congress, he [FDR] boasted of having ‘earned the hatred of entrenched greed.’ In another speech he mocked ‘the gentlemen in well-warmed and well-stocked clubs’ who criticized the government’s relief efforts.” And his programs — Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment insurance — to name the big ones — have stood the test of time. Most Americans couldn’t imagine this country without these essential social programs.

Smith concluded that “Roosevelt understood that governing involved choice and that choice engendered dissent. He accepted opposition as part of the process. It is time for the Obama administration to step up to the plate and make some hard choices.” That’s a tough statement but one worth contemplating as we move forward on health care reform.

National Consumers League applauds House passage of HR 3200 – National Consumers League

November 12, 2009

Contact: 202-835-3323,

Washington, DC-The National Consumers League, the nation’s oldest consumer group, applauds the United States House of Representatives’ historic passage of the health reform bill, HR 3200. Since the 1930s NCL has supported universal health care for all Americans. This legislation is a milestone toward that goal.

“We recognize substantively reforming our health care system is no easy task, and we support lawmakers’ efforts to unite stakeholders and work towards a higher quality system that is more patient-centered and cost-effective,” said Sally Greenberg, NCL Executive Director. “We look forward to the final law, which should ensure that effective and efficient care of the highest quality is accessible by all Americans.”

Key provisions of The Affordable Health Care for America Act include:

  • prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage based on pre-existing medical conditions, imposing annual or lifetime benefit limits, or cancelling a policy when someone files expensive claims.
  • creating an “exchange” in each state where individuals and eligible small businesses could shop for insurance policies.
  • offering of a public insurance plan to compete with private companies.
  • expanding coverage to several million uninsured, including those who may not be able to obtain coverage through their employer or who may not have previously qualified for government programs.
  • expanding eligibility for Medicaid to individuals and families with incomes up to 150 percent of the poverty level.
  • reducing payments under the Medicare Advantage program, and enhancing the Medicare prescription drug program by phasing out a coverage gap.

For decades, NCL has been dedicated to achieving quality improvements to America’s health care system. In the 1930s, NCL’s Josephine Roche authored the first universal health care proposal and today, NCL is at the forefront of advocating for comprehensive health reform with legislation that is patient-centered and cost-efficient. NCL recently issued a statement calling the lack of comprehensive health care coverage “America’s albatross,” making our businesses less competitive and our workers less healthy. “We need to put partisan concerns aside and work NOW to ensure that the system is reformed. The cost of doing nothing is unthinkable.”

“We need to address why we are overpaying for care that is not making us healthier. Health reform will move us towards greater accountability, efficiency, accessibility, transparency, and quality,” said Greenberg. “It is essential that everyone have access to affordable health care or the system will remain broken.”

For more information about NCL’s work in health, visit


About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit