For Immediate Release
New Report Series, “American Lives at Risk”
Highlights the Painful Impact of Federal “Regulatory Reform” Proposals Press Release
WASHINGTON - A new report by Demos and the U.S. PIRG finds that Americans’ lives, health and livelihoods would be put at risk if so called “regulatory reform” proposals now being considered by the U.S. Congress were to become law, slowing or stopping the regulatory process. The new reports, offering state-level data in Alaska, Massachusetts, Ohio and Pennsylvania, detail the number of the state’s residents harmed each year of delay in the creation of three upcoming rulemakings.
Some key findings from the report series “American Lives at Risk” include:
--In Pennsylvania alone, for each year the government fails to update the restriction on levels of toxic soot in the air the state will face 3,890 preventable deaths and 84,539 preventable asthma attacks among children.
--Approximately 380,000 preventable illnesses from contaminated food will occur in Ohio for each year the government fails to enact new rules to avoid produce contamination.
--In Alaska, 3,090 cancer patients are at risk of being denied health insurance for each year of delay in creating rules prohibiting health insurance companies from refusing to issue insurance to people with pre-existing conditions.
“This report demonstrates that the ‘regulatory reform’ proposals being considered by Congress are a serious threat to Americans,” explained Nasima Hossain, Public Health Advocate at U.S. PRIG. “Policymakers should resist efforts by powerful special interests to weaken public health and consumer safety rules. The need for consumer safety should not be a political question or a partisan issue.”
“The negative consequences of the industry-backed ‘regulatory reform’ proposals should they become law are difficult to overstate,” said Ben Peck, Demos Senior Legislative and Policy Associate. “These proposals would have such a profound impact on our daily lives—from our first breath in the morning to the food we eat throughout the day. Without government safeguards, experience has shown that industry will cut corners in pursuit of short-term profit. Electric utilities will foul our air, and food processors will neglect the safety procedures needed to keep our food free of contamination. Proponents of ‘regulatory reform’ minimize the real-world impact of the years added to the basic regulatory process because of the new red tape these proposals would create. Our analysis shows how every year costs American lives.”
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U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs), stands up to powerful special interests on behalf of the American public, working to win concrete results for our health and our well-being. With a strong network of researchers, advocates, organizers and students in state capitols across the country, we take on the special interests on issues, such as product safety,political corruption, prescription drugs and voting rights,where these interests stand in the way of reform and progress.