Health Care

The Summer of Healthcare Discontent

As the end of their summer recess approaches, the Republican-controlled Congress has still not done what it has promised to do since March 2010:  repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, and allow consumer-driven forces to create more competition and choices in order to drive down healthcare costs.  It has been said that Republicans behaved like a dog which had constantly chased after a car and then finally caught it:  They were ill-prepared about what to do after Obamacare was snagged in their metaphorical jaws.

CAGW Submits Public Comments to FDA Supporting Tobacco Harm Reduction

On August 10, 2017, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) President Tom Schatz submitted public comments to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) supporting the approval of efforts for tobacco harm reduction through e-cigarettes and similar non-combustible products.

FDA Comments Supporting Tobacco Harm Reduction Products

August 10, 2017

Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305)
Food and Drug Administration
5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061
Rockville, MD  20852

Re: Docket No. FDA-2017-D-3001
Modified Risk Tobacco Product Applications for the Philip Morris International Tobacco Heating System, or IQOS, and Three Heatsticks Products

Congress Reacts to Largest Federal Healthcare Fraud Enforcement Action

On Thursday, July 13, 2017, the Department of Justice (DoJ) announced in a press release the largest healthcare fraud enforcement action in its history.  Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price, M.D., announced the takedown, in which over 412 individuals were found responsible for $1.3 billion in fraud losses. 

CAGW Releases July 2017 WasteWatcher

For Immediate Release
Contact: Curtis Kalin 202-467-5318

July 26, 2017
 

(Washington, D.C.) – Today Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) released its July 2017 WasteWatcher, a monthly dispatch to members of the news media, highlighting some of the most prominent fiscal issues affecting American taxpayers.  The stories from its July edition of WasteWatcher are listed in part as follows:

The Dangers of Single-Payer Healthcare

The Dangers of Single-Payer Healthcare

CAGW’s June 2017 Porker of the Month was Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who earned the “honor” in part due to his outspoken and unwavering support of the single-payer healthcare system.  Sen. Sanders touts the system as the “morally principled” option; in reality, it would create long waiting times, cause a massive increase in taxes, and allow bureaucrats in Washington to make decisions that ought to be made between doctors and patients.  

Vacant VA Buildings Cost Taxpayers Millions

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has gone through many trials and travails over the past several years.  A new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) exposed another aspect of the department that enables waste and mismanagement.

The FDA Should Pave the Way to Tobacco Harm Reduction

Passage of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (TCA) in June 2009 gave the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory control over tobacco products.  The purpose of the TCA, as stated in the bill’s report language, was to permit the FDA “to restrict the sale and distribution of tobacco products, including advertising and promotion” and to “take specified actions, including public notification and recall, against unreasonably harmful products.”  The law also required the FDA “to establish tobacco product standards to protect the public health” but prohibited the agency from "banning all cigarettes, all smokeless tobacco products, all little cigars, all cigars other than little cigars, all pipe tobacco, or all roll-your-own tobacco products," or "requiring the reduction of nicotine yields of a tobacco product to zero."  Notably, the law also set forth standards for the sale of "modified-risk tobacco products.”

Wasteful Spending by Hospitals Increased Under Obamacare

In 1998, Citizens Against Government Waste releasedAre You Getting Your Money’s Worth from Nonprofit Hospitals?which analyzed the level of charity care nonprofit hospitals were providing to their local communities as a requirement under their tax exemptions.  The report found that for-profit and nonprofit hospitals are not much different in terms of the charity they provide to their respective communities.  The only difference is that taxpayers are subsidizing the nonprofits.

They Were for It Before They Were Against It

Healthcare reform is not going well for the Republicans, even though they have called for the repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare, since the legislation was signed into law in 2010.  Republicans have had seven years to write, debate, and agree to a plan to repeal Obamacare and replace it with something.  They promised to repeal ACA for every election since 2010 and as a result, retook the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the Presidency.

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CAGW Names Rep. Elijah Cummings November 2017 Porker of the Month

Rep. Cummings is CAGW's November Porker of the Month for attempting to place price controls on prescription drugs.