November 5, 2008
The Honorable Barack Obama
713 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear President-elect Obama:
On behalf of Consumers Union, the nonprofit, independent publisher of Consumer Reports magazine, I want to express my congratulations on your election as our nation’s 44th President. As you begin to tackle the enormous challenges confronting our nation, we look forward to working closely with you and your administration on initiatives that can improve the health, safety, and financial well-being of consumers.
For more than 70 years, Consumers Union has worked for a fair and safe marketplace for all consumers. Consumer Reports and ConsumerReports.org have combined subscriptions of more than 7 million, and we have a dedicated team of consumer advocates and grassroots organizers who work with our more than 650,000 online activists to strengthen government policies and the marketplace in favor of consumers.
Consumers Union shares your concern about the state of America’ s health-care system. Everyone should have the same access to comprehensive, quality healthcare that members of Congress have, regardless of their medical history or employrnent status. Consumers who don’t have private insurance from an employer should have access to a public health plan, and Congress should establish a sliding scale so everyone pays for coverage based on their ability to do so. We also want to improve patient safety and lower the cost of prescription drugs.
Consumers Union feels strongly that, in the wake of the government’s $700 billion rescue for Wall Street, we should do more to help average citizens during these difficult economic times. We need to curb poor lending practices by banks and mortgage companies, and rein in abusive practices of credit-card companies. We need better regulation of financial services, including an agency that’s independent of the banks to make sure financial products are safe. We hope that your administration will put a stop to the “wait and see” conduct by federal regulators in the past.
Beyond healthcare and personal finance, Consumers Union is actively involved in promoting proconsumer policies across a broad range of issues, such as product and food safety, energy, and telecommunications. We eagerly look forward to working with you on these critical issues in the weeks and months ahead.
President & Chief Executive Officer
101 Truman Avenue
Yonkers, New York 10703-1057