Bloomfield Introduces Bills to Increase Transparency and Information
"I am please to announce that I have submitted a number of bills to the House of Representatives with the aim of increasing the amount of information in the hands of the people, just as was done with the Made in America Act which recently passed the House and Senate.
First, I have introduced the BuyAmerican.gov Act. This bill would create a publicly accessible website with information pertaining which government agencies are using waivers to exempt themselves from various Buy American provisions of federal law. There are laws on the books which require federal agencies to buy American-made goods whenever practical, with various exemptions mostly related to cost and item availability. Many exemptions are granted on cost alone and the American people should be able to know what agencies are taking the various exemptions and why. With publicly available information, they can see and judge for themselves if their government is exempting itself from its own provisions in appropriate or appropriate ways, in appropriate amounts or excessively.
Secondly, I introduced the Liberty for Drug Price Information Act. This bill would allow pharmacies to inform their customers if a prescription drug may be less expensive via some other manner, such as out of pocket, rather than buying it through their health benefits plan. I believe that more information in the hands of consumers is generally a good thing. Pharmacists should not be silenced by any organization from sharing price information that they may have available.
Third, I introduced the Financial Literacy to Financial Freedom Act. This bill would enable universities and other institutions of higher education to require additional financial counseling prior to disbursing a loan. Currently, universities are only required to give first-time borrowers one session of counseling. In many circumstances, this counseling is short and quickly forgotten in the whirlwind of activity that is transitioning to college or university. In short, it is insufficient. By allowing for more counseling to be required, first-time borrowers will be able to be given more information or have the same information presented again which will enable it to remain in borrower's memories better. More education about terms and responsibilities of loans will hopefully inform borrowers more effectively, so that they can avoid long-term debt.
I urge my colleagues in the House to consider these three bills and pass them through the House. The people deserve to know how the government is exempting itself from Buy American provisions and why. They deserve to know if they can purchase medicine for a lower price, and not have pharmacists gagged by contract from sharing price information. They deserve to know the long-term effects of taking out education-related loans and what is involved in paying off that debt. These three bills will put more information in the hands of the people about their government and several matters that can profoundly influence their lives."