The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

The WasteWatcher

The WasteWatcher is the staff blog of Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) and the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW). For questions, contact blog@cagw.org.




New CMS Rule Will Help Reduce Drug Costs

On Wednesday, November 1, 2017, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a new rule that will lower costs to taxpayers and Medicare beneficiaries for certain outpatient pharmaceuticals purchased under the 340B drug discount program.

Connecticut and Pennsylvania Pass Budgets

As we finish our Halloween candy and start preparing for Thanksgiving, each of the fifty states has now passed its required budget.  As forty-nine of the fifty states require a balanced budget, which means the politicians can’t always resort to gimmicks and kick the can down the road like they do in Washington, D.C., the process of budgeting in state capitals takes considerable time and careful deliberation.  This year, for Connecticut and Pennsylvania, passage occurred way behind schedule. 

Maine's Fiscal Future Tied to Medicaid Expansion

On November 7, 2017, Mainers will head to the polls to vote on four ballot measures, including Question 2, which would expand Medicaid in the state to cover able-bodied adults without children whose income is equal to or less than 138 percent of the federal poverty line.  In an off-year election, not many will vote; one prediction estimates turnout at 20 percent.  That’s a shame, because those who vote will help determine the fiscal future of the state. 

The Waning Days of a Technology Mandate

Good news may be on the horizon for car owners across the country, with a possible roll-back of a technology mandate that would have forced car manufacturers to install a vehicle-to-vehicle device that has already been outstripped by new technologies.  On November 1, 2017 U.S.

What a Concept! New Ideas and Diverse Opinions Coming to the EPA!

On October 31, 2017, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt announced a new directive to ensure anyone serving on a Federal Advisory Committee (FAC) for the agency are “independent and free from any real, apparent, or potential interference with their ability to objectively serve as a committee member.”  The new directive requires that anyone who is currently receiving an EPA grant, “either as the principal or co-investigator, or in a positi

Serving Our National Security on a Silver Platter: Open Source Code in the 2018 NDAA

Deep in the depths of the Senate-passed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, provisions have been injected that could harm already vulnerable Department of Defense (DOD) information technology (IT) systems and place national security at risk. 

Another Dumb Idea from Democrats on Drug Costs

Today, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), held a press conference to engage in their usual screed  against pharmaceutical companies and provide a “solution” to lower drug costs in Medicare Part D.  Rep.

Will the Alexander-Murray Bill Prop Up or Make Big Changes to Obamacare?

Late Thursday night last week, President Trump announced his administration would stop providing Cost-Sharing Reduction (CSRs) payments to insurers.  What are CSRs?  They are subsidies, or reimbursements, given to insurers by federal taxpayers for issuing reduced deductibles and copayments to low-income individuals that participate in the Obamacare exchanges.  CSRs are not payments given directly to low-income people to help them buy insurance

Why did the President Trump state his administration could no longer provide the CSRs?  Because the subsidies were illegal.

Cook County Soda Tax Repealed After Only Two Months in Effect

When politicians decide to tax something new, taxpayers rarely see the end of it.  This adage is especially true of so-called “sin taxes,” levies on products like alcohol, tobacco, and, increasingly, soda.  Those in government always appreciate more money, and politicians like beating up on unpopular industries.  It’s a two-pronged argument:  you shouldn’t be buying too many alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, sugary drinks, and the like; and besides, the government needs more revenue anyway. 

President Trump's Executive Order on Healthcare

Today, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order (EO), "Promote Healthcare Choice and Competition Across the United States,” with the goals of bringing financial relief and more healthcare choices to millions of Americans. Since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, was signed into law, Americans have seen their health insurance options limited while their premiums and deductibles have soared.

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