The Coalition to
Protect Patient Choice
of David Balto
Competitive healthcare is healthcare with choices
Advocacy on consumer healthcare competition issues aimed at lowering prescription drug costs
About the CPPC
In 2015, the Coalition to Protect Patient Choice (CPPC) was created to advocate for health care competition and consumer choice.
The CPPC's first project was organizing consumer group and payor opposition to the Aetna/Humana and Anthem/Cigna mergers. Although most commentators thought the mergers would be approved we were successful in convincing the DOJ, several state attorneys generals and several state insurance commissioners to oppose the mergers. Both mergers were struck down by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia earlier this year. We took a number of actions to achieve this goal:
Organizing the opposition of the most critical health care public interest groups including Consumers Union, Consumer Federation of America, Families USA, Public Citizen, Consumer Action and several other consumer groups. We were joined by major unions and other payors including SEIU and AFSCME. We testified on behalf of these consumer groups before the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and insurance commissioners in 12 states.
We submitted comments on behalf of Consumer Action, Consumers Union, Consumer Federation of America, Consumer Watchdog, U.S. PIRG, Families USA, Public Citizen, AFSCME, 1199 SEIU, and many other groups.
We created the “go to” public forum – www.thecppc.com– which gathered key information on the mergers, receiving web traffic in the thousands of visitors. We fostered a robust public discussion, by authoring articles, publishing blog posts, and being quoted regularly by publications such as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, The Hill, Politico, Financial Times, and many others.
We were instrumental in assisting seven Democratic Senators in authoring a detailed letter outlining the reasons for DOJ enforcement. Many of these leaders in the Democratic caucus continue to look to us for advice on health insurance competition, pharmaceutical competition, healthcare antitrust enforcement, and as a conduit to consumer groups.
We had extensive meetings with the DOJ and over 35 state attorneys general offices and provided extensive white papers outlining the need for enforcement.
Besides the role of the CPPC, our office has a tremendous reputation for expertise and consumer advocacy on drug competition issues. While serving as Policy Director at the Federal Trade Commission, David Balto started the FTC’s pharmaceutical enforcement program which led to key enforcement actions to preserve generic competition. As the Policy Director, Mr. Balto played an instrumental role in helping numerous offices on pharmaceutical competition issues.
Because of our reputation and Congressional expertise, during the recent controversy on generic drug price increases, we were invited to brief the staffs of the Senate Judiciary and House Energy and Commerce Committees.
David Balto is recognized as the most prominent expert working to expose anticompetitive and anti-consumer practices by Pharmacy Benefit Managers (“PBMs”). After the House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on EpiPen, Mr. Balto met with multiple offices on the committee to educate and provide guidance on the role PBMs played in the EpiPen situation, as well as drug pricing as a whole. He also co-authored a piece in The Hill about the need for PBM education in Congress.
David Balto is a past Senior Fellow at both the Center for American Progress and New America Foundation -- two of the most prominent think tanks that have close relationships at the upper levels of Democratic Congressional leadership. As a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, he was actively involved in the debate of the enactment of the ACA. Mr. Balto has testified more frequently on competition issues than any other non-antitrust official during the Obama Administration. His 2010 CAP paper on generic competition outlined a strong enforcement agenda adopted by the Obama Administration.
Our firm has authored numerous amicus briefs in support of generic companies in antitrust cases. Two recent examples -- a brief supporting the position of several potential generic competitors in the multibillion dollar Namenda market before the Second Circuit on behalf of major consumer groups including Consumers Union and Consumer Federation of America; and a brief in the billion dollar Doryx market supporting Mylan on behalf of AARP, Consumers Union, Consumer Federation of America and others before the Third Circuit. Since the Namenda victory, over a dozen generic companies have been able to enter the market.