The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

Healthcare

NAFTA Negotiators Should Promote Strong IP Rights

As the May 18 deadline for negotiating a modernized North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) looms, negotiators should consider closely how intellectual property (IP) rights will be treated between the countries involved.

A Moment of Truth: Will Virginia Republicans Expand Medicaid?

On April 11, 2018, Virginia legislators will return to Richmond for a special session in which they will aim to finish work on the Commonwealth’s budget.  At center stage, yet again, is the issue of Medicaid expansion, still unresolved eight years after Obamacare became law.

As Other States Thrive, California is a Shadow of Its Former Self

So many iconic images and phrases come to mind when you think of California.  The Gold Rush.  The American Dream.  Hollywood.  The place where anything was possible and big dreams can come true—thanks to the smashing success of capitalism.  “Go West, Young Man.”  It was the pinnacle of American culture, industry, and innovation, and, at one time, a bastion of conservative thought, voting Republican in nine of the ten presidential elections between 1952 and 1988 and producing two famous twice-elected Republican presidents of the twentieth century, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. 

Seattle Soda Tax Not Doing Too Well

While the rest of us were popping champagne to celebrate the arrival of 2018, Seattle greeted the New Year with a 1.75 cent per ounce tax on sweetened beverages.  It was needed, former Mayor Ed Murray once said, for a host of noble reasons: to reduce sugar consumption; to raise revenue for important projects like a year of “free” community college for all graduating public high school students; and, to subsidize purchases of healthy foods by low-income f

Up In Smoke: What Happened to the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement Money?

In November 1998, forty-six US states, along with the District of Columbia and five US territories, and the major tobacco companies entered into a contract of an extraordinary nature.  (The other four states, Florida, Minnesota, Mississippi, and Texas, had entered similar agreements on their own beginning the year before.)  The agreement, known as the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA), represented the culmination of a decades-long argument between the tob

Trump Administration to Allow States to Establish Work Requirements for Medicaid

Since its establishment in 1965, the federal government and the states have jointly administered Medicaid.  The program’s characteristics and logistics vary from state to state, and there is always some give-and-take between the states and the feds.  States want more flexibility; the federal government wants to make sure states are complying with the law.  One thing that has never been permitted is for a state to implement a work requirement for certain Medicaid beneficiaries.  That unwise tradition, however, appears to be changing. 

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. 

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.

Liberal States Are Trying to Prop Up Obamacare

As Washington struggles with what may be its final chance to repeal Obamacare, the law’s problems in the states continue.  One major problem that has plagued Obamacare for years is that not enough young and healthy people are signing up for health insurance coverage.  The Obama admini

Eligibility Check Reveals Massive Medicaid Problems in Oregon

Oregon attracted national ridicule in 2013 and 2014 as its state-run online Obamacare exchange, Cover Oregon, epically failed to sign up even one person for coverage, despite a federal grant of $303 million.  The fiasco was so colossal that the state gave up completely and had the federal government take over its enrollment for the next year’s sign-up period. 

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