In letters to President Obama and the congressional leadership, a coalition of consumer advocacy groups -- such as the Consumer Federation of America, the National Consumer Law Center, Consumers Union, Public Citizen, and U.S. PIRG -- have called for the implementation of a consumer-protection agenda during the President's second term. The agenda is quite detailed and worth a look. Here's a synopsis:
- Elevate the consumer voice in government by reinstating the key position of the White House Special Advisor on Consumer Affairs, holding regular meetings with consumer leaders, and convening a White House conference on the state of the consumer today.
- Continue to work to make health care affordable, accessible, and safe through measures such as protecting funding for the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, and Medicaid by reducing wasteful and unnecessary spending, not cutting services or shifting costs to consumers.
- Continue to protect and expand upon the financial consumer protections secured in recent years, including the newly-created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
- Ensure our food and products are safe by moving forward on still-pending food safety rules and implementing tougher standards for products, such as infant and toddler items.
- Provide consumers with affordable and sustainable energy options by forcefully addressing climate change and promoting clean-energy initiatives.
- Ensure that the Internet and other telecommunications services remain affordable and accessible, and consumers’ privacy is protected.
- Support regulations that improve our quality of life and protect our health and safety, as well as oppose efforts to undercut the regulatory rulemaking process.
- Improve consumer access to justice by reinstating legal rights.
- Protect consumers by ensuring open, competitive and fair markets through tough enforcement of antitrust prohibitions on anticompetitive mergers and cracking down on monopolistic practices that lead to higher prices and fewer choices for consumers.