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.




In 2019, More Options Available to Save on Health Insurance

Once again, open enrollment began for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare.  The time frame to enroll is from November 1, 2018 to December 15, 2018 for coverage in 2019.

IM 25: Bad for South Dakota

On Tuesday, November 6, South Dakota voters will decide whether to approve Initiated Measure 25 (IM 25).  This measure would increase taxes on cigarettes by $1 per pack and increase the wholesale tax on tobacco products from 35 to 55 percent.  The revenue, it is claimed, will be devoted to the state’s four technical schools.  These institutes’ mission is to offer “associate degree, certificate, and diploma programs in the state’s high-need career fields.”

Congress is Tricking Taxpayers to Pay More for Treats

As people eat their leftover Halloween candy, they may want to think about how much they paid for all those treats. Raw sugar in the United States regularly costs double or triple the world average, and this hurts food companies and leads to high prices for consumers at the grocery store.

Adopting Foreign Countries’ Price Controls: A Really Bad Idea

Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) was troubled and mystified when the Trump administration issued an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking that would change Medicare Part B reimbursement for outpatient drugs from the Average Sales Price (ASP) plus 6 percent to instead a reimbursement system based on what other countries pay for the same drugs.

How Tax Reform 2.0 Could Impact Savings

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), the tax bill passed in Congress last year, represents the most substantial change to the nation’s tax code in a generation. This change has greatly benefited the U.S. economy as American businesses have become more competitive globally while American workers have seen an increase in their wages.

Local Governments in Puerto Rico Punish Charitable Activity

When Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated Puerto Rico and other places in the fall of 2017, Americans of all types raced to help.  Utility companies were among the first to provide aid, as restoring the island’s power grid was a monumental task. 

As is customary for natural disasters, the federal government, through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), will reimburse utilities for their work to restore service quickly to affected areas—work that does not earn them a profit. 

Congressional Eye Turns to DOD's JEDI Contract

One wonders if the “Force” is working against the Department of Defense (DOD) with its Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure project (JEDI).  The contract bid request that by some estimates could reach $10 billion to build an enterprise-level commercial cloud solution, including Infrastructure as a Service and Platform as a Service, to support the all defense agencies and military branches, has now come under heightened scrutiny by two members of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee.

Trump Administration Implements New Guidance to Help Fix Individual Health Insurance Market

Except for a few noteworthy successes, such as repealing the individual mandate that forced people to buy health insurance they did not want or could afford, and ridding us of the Independent Payment Advisory Board that turned Medicare over to unelected bureaucrats, Congress has remained almost at a standstill when it comes to fixing and reforming the healthcare insurance market, greatly damaged

New HHS Transparency Regulation Mandates Inaccurate Information

The Pharmaceutical Research Manufacturers Association (PhRMA), the trade association that represents the nation’s leading biopharmaceutical research companies, announced a new proposal on Monday regarding direct-to-consumer (DTC) television advertising.  This voluntary agreement by PhRMA members would help patients access more useful information about the cost of their medicines.

Grossly Expensive 'Medicare for All' - Hidden in Plain Sight

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has an editorial today, “The Price of BernieCare” and declares that “Democrats object that Republicans are telling voters the truth about single payer.” The WSJ points out that Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said this week that healthcare will determine the result of the November elections.  Meanwhile, the Republicans are running political ads across the country that focus on the huge costs associated with implementing “Medicare for All,” Sen.

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