Why health care is unaffordable – U.S. PIRG testimony for House Ways & Means Committee, Subcommittee on Health hearing:

Consumer group recommends solutions to high drug and hospital prices

On March 23, 2023, the 13th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, the House Ways & Means Committee’s Subcommittee on Health will host a hearing on health care affordability

Patricia Kelmar, PIRG’s senior director for health care campaigns, has been selected to represent consumer interests with testimony at Thursday’s session. She will focus on how the prices of prescription drugs and hospital-based services have risen in the absence of competition in health markets and will discuss the solutions needed to constrain rising costs. 

“The prices we are charged for prescription drugs and hospital care are the biggest drivers of our health care spending,” said Kelmar. “Employers and patients are paying higher and higher prices because health markets lack the competition that drives prices down. We need innovative solutions to end anticompetitive practices.”

Download U.S. PIRG’s testimony at the button to the left.

Watch a video of the hearing. Patricia’s testimony begins at 34:21.


Patricia Kelmar

Senior Director, Health Care Campaigns, PIRG

Patricia directs the health care campaign work for U.S. PIRG and provides support to our state offices for state-based health initiatives. Her prior roles include senior policy advisor at NJ Health Care Quality Institute, associate state director at AARP New Jersey and consumer advocate at NJPIRG. She was appointed to the Ground Ambulance and Patient Billing Advisory Committee in 2022 and works with patient advocates across the U.S. Patricia enjoys walking along the Potomac River and sharing her love of books with friends and family around the world.

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