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  • Johnny Kampis Testimony to Alabama Senate Committee on Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development

    Johnny Kampis on May 14, 2019

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    Today, TPAF Investigative Reporter, Johnny Kampis, is testifying in front of the Alabama State Senate Committee on Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development to urge lawmakers to amend HB 400 due to the possibility this legislation could have the unintended consequence of leading to power rate increases. » Read More
  • Federal Infrastructure Plan Shouldn’t Include Broadband Funding

    Johnny Kampis on May 13, 2019

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    This article was originally published on Inside Sources on May 10, 2019.

    A $2 trillion infrastructure plan agreed to in principle by President Trump and Democratic leaders would most likely include money for broadband, but denizens of Capitol Hill should rethink that plan. Not only will new privately funded technology help close the high-speed internet gap but additional taxpayer funding has already been allocated to aid that effort. Trump met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Tuesday for infrastructure discussions. Not known for his consistent fiscal conservatism, Trump eagerly agreed on a higher number. “Originally we had started a little lower, even the president was willing to push it up to $2 trillion,” Schumer told reporters outside the White House.

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  • Déjà vu All Over Again - Postal Service Loses Billions of Dollars

    David Williams on May 10, 2019

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    . – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) reacted with concern about the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) latest loss of $2.1 billion for the second quarter of the 2019 fiscal year.  The USPS has accumulated $70 billion in total net losses since 2007. 

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  • Time to Rein in Unaccountable Bureaucrats

    Ross Marchand on May 9, 2019

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    This article was originally published on on April 29, 2019. 

    Government agencies are hardly paragons of restraint and efficiency, but bureaucrats are at least held accountable by Congress - most of the time. Unfortunately, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) operates without a leash from lawmakers and consumers and taxpayers pay the price every day.  This sprawling bureaucracy, which runs diametrically counter to the ideas in the Constitution, exists wholly beyond the scope of checks and balances that keep other government agencies in line.  » Read More
  • For Obscure Global Taxpayer-Funded Body, Everything Causes Cancer

    Ross Marchand on May 7, 2019

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    This article was originally published in on May 3, 2019.

    It’s bad enough that each year American taxpayers have to fork over billions of dollars to unaccountable global bureaucracies such as the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO, which has a despicable track record of dubious travel spending and botched responses to health epidemics,  siphons off millions of these yearly proceeds to fund an obscure “research” arm called the International Agency for the Research of Cancer (IARC). Since 1965, the agency has evaluated more than 1,000 substances to determine whether or not they are carcinogenic, finding that all but one (the material that makes yoga pants and toothbrush bristles) may be dangerous to humans.  IARC also makes absurd judgements like placing bacon in the same category as plutonium and tobacco smoking. » Read More
  • ‘Surprise Billing’ Debate Must Include All Voices

    Ross Marchand on May 6, 2019

    When patients go to a hospital that is in their insurance network, they expect that payment will be a done deal. But sometimes, they receive an unexpected bill from a physician who accepts dissimilar insurance plans than those accepted by the hospital where the physician saw the patient.

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  • Vinton’s Big Internet Gamble Puts Taxpayers at Risk

    Chip Baltimore on May 2, 2019

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    Vinton, Iowa, is an Iowa town of barely 5,000 people. Quaint and idyllic, Vinton is similar to many other rural Midwest communities in its quest to preserve its quintessential small-town charm while trying to remain viable in a technologically modern age.  While the Iowa Legislature passed a bill to legalize sports betting two weeks ago, Vinton wants to bet on more than just sports.  It’s going all-in on its future on a taxpayer and electricity ratepayer-funded broadband system that even city leaders admit will likely be no cheaper than competing providers, making it a tough sell to consumers.

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  • Watchdog Group Praises FDA for Approving New Harm Reduction Technology

    Grace Morgan on April 30, 2019

    – Today, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it is allowing the selling of a revolutionary tobacco heating system known as IQOS. This reduced-risk product heats tobacco without burning it, allowing smokers the sensation of traditional smoking without releasing harmful carcinogens. Despite these benefits, the FDA took more than 2 years to approve the selling of this product. » Read More
  • Has Senator Cassidy moved away from healthcare rate-setting? Conservatives hope so.

    Ross Marchand on April 30, 2019

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    As insurance networks get narrower by the year thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the issue of “surprise billing”has policymakers in a bind. Every day, lawmakers and industry stakeholders hear stories of patients being treated at an in-network hospital yet still receiving $50,000 bills from out-of-network physicians operating from said hospitals.  Too often, gaps and discrepancies in coverage leave patients with the sense that they may be slapped with extra costs for services and physicians they once assumed were within the scope of their coverage.

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  • When Looking At Healthcare Costs: Take A Pragmatic, Policy-Focused Approach

    Ross Marchand on April 29, 2019

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    Tomorrow (April 30), the House Energy and Commerce Committee will examine prescription drug payments in Medicare Parts B and D. Congress is to be applauded for looking into the rising cost of healthcare and it appears that the committee will discuss and examine recently proposed harmful practices such as step therapy. Instead of considering policies that will restrict care for patients, Congress should take a hard look at real cost drivers in our system, as well as the proposals to help lower costs for patients.

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  • Drug Price Index Would Mean Higher Costs, Less Care for Patients

    Ross Marchand on April 29, 2019

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    This article originally appeared in InsideSources on April 25, 2019. 

    As many Americans have come to realize, the federal government rarely has the answers to America’s most pressing issues. But on the key issue of high (and rising) drug costs, the government – specifically the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) – thinks that it can wave a magic wand and bring prices down in one fell swoop via an International Price Index (IPI). There are plenty of potential reforms that could increase the quality and decrease the cost of care, but IPI is a quack cure for America’s healthcare woes.

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  • Pharmacy Benefit Managers: The Middlemen of Medicare

    Grace Morgan on April 29, 2019

    TPA joined together with free-market groups voicing strong support for the Trump Administration's efforts to eliminate drug rebate programs. While most actors in the drug pricing debates are held accountable, for too long PBMs have been able to remain unchallenged. President Trump is proposing to end this era of backdoor deals in the drug industry, bring real transparency to drug markets, and deliver savings directly to patients when they walk into the pharmacy. » Read More
  • On World IP Day, Return Mail Case Shows Importance of IP Protection

    Ross Marchand on April 26, 2019

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    World IP Day (April 26, 2019) is a day to recognize the importance of innovators in making all lives easier and better. While the U.S. remains at the top of global intellectual property (IP) rankings, there are still serious threats to IP protection in the U.S..  Since the start of the decade, inventors have increasingly been thrown to the curb as infringers made use of the Patent Trial and Appeals Board (PTAB) to render patents invalid in a “streamlined” process absent due process. Now, the federal government (via the United States Postal Service) is trying to push the system’s boundaries, arguing that it should be allowed to have patents invalidated through PTAB without legal recourse.  » Read More
  • Green Real Deal a Raw Deal for All Americans

    Ross Marchand on April 24, 2019

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    This article originally appeared in RealClearPolicy on April 23, 2019. 

    Bad policies aren’t the sole domain of any one party. For proof of this, look no further than the horrendous energy policy proposals floated by a number of misguided Republican members of Congress over the past few weeks. Determined to seize media headlines from the ultra-liberal Democrats behind the cringeworthy “Green New Deal,” a flock of Republicans led by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) have proposed what they call a kinder, gentler “Green Real Deal.” » Read More
  • USDA Needs to Dump Ridiculous Olive Oil ‘Inspection’ Program

    Ross Marchand on April 23, 2019

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    This article originally appeared on on April 17, 2019. 

    In all likelihood, that pricey extra virgin olive oil in your cupboard is an imposter. And if that deception wasn’t troubling enough, it might even bear a quality seal from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In 2012, the USDA under President Obama expanded its “Agricultural Marketing Services Quality Monitoring Program” to police the extra virgin oil market. On its face, the move seemed like good news for consumers. The past seven years have proven that shockingly, the government is hardly a trustworthy judge of quality. Instead, the program has spent years deceiving consumers, abusing taxpayers and brazenly distorting normal market functions.

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  • Board Of Supervisors Approves Massive Taxpayer-Subsidized Solar Farm In Spotsylvania, Virginia

    Johnny Kampis on April 22, 2019

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    This article originally appeared in on April 17, 2019. 

    The largest solar farm east of the Mississippi River will be built in Virginia after the Spotsylvania County Board of Supervisors gave the go-ahead on the plan. Despite fervent opposition from residents near the proposed 6,350-acre site, supervisors agreed to allow Sustainable Power Group (sPower) to build a $615 million facility that will consist of 1.8 million solar panels and generate 500 megawatts of electricity annually. The Utah-based company will sell that power to various companies and expects to be operational within two years.

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  • Mueller Report....or USPS Audit?

    Ross Marchand on April 18, 2019

    In light of the release of the Mueller report yesterday, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) team set aside a little bit of time and parsed through the long, tortuous passages of the over-400 page document. We didn’t find anything so far that will “lock him up,” but we did notice something….both the report and audit reports by the United States Postal Service (USPS) Inspector General (IG) have the same heavy reliance on black highlighter. We’ve put some Mueller report passages alongside USPS IG passages, to see if you can tell which is which. » Read More
  • Meet the New FDA Commissioner, Same as the Old FDA Commissioner

    Ross Marchand on April 18, 2019

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    This article originally appeared on on April 18, 2019.

    When then-Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced he was stepping down from the helm of the agency last month, taxpayers and harm reduction advocates cheered. The former FDA head engrossed himself into a destructive crusade against e-cigarette products, which give smokers an “exit ramp” off of cigarette use. Despite overwhelming evidence of the safety and efficacy of vaping products in getting smokers to quit, Gottlieb sought to deny the science and pull e-cigarettes from the shelves almost entirely.  » Read More
  • Senator Sanders Shouldn’t Say Sorry For Being Successful

    Ross Marchand on April 17, 2019

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    This article was originally published on on April 11, 2019.

    Recently, a “scandalous” news story broke that threatens to upend the presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT). No, this is not a sex scandal or a pay-to-play scheme. For members of the left, it’s even worse: According to Sen. Sanders himself, the political iconoclast is a … millionaire. This revelation dropped ahead of the Senator’s decision to release his tax returns, which likely show handsome profits earned from his widely-sold books. After prodding by a New York Times reporter, Sen. Sanders angrily defended his millionaire status: "I wrote a best-selling book. If you write a best-selling book, you can be a millionaire, too." » Read More
  • Acknowledging The Good In the Bad; Rays of Hope In Washington State

    Jeff Stier on April 16, 2019

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    Excise taxes, or sin taxes, are bad ideas for many reasons. We never support them, no matter how “bad” the “sin” legislators seek to tax. 
    Sin taxes are meant not only to raise money — usually for some seemingly “un-opposable” cause — but to influence consumer behavior. They are designed to artificially increase what consumers pay, with the goal of reducing (legal) sales of the disfavored products. But unintended consequences lurk. Consider New York State’s proposed $600 million opioid taxearmarked for an “Opioid Stewardship Fund.” Who could be against that? Well, patients in severe pain who legitimately need the medicine aren’t too thrilled with the idea.

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