Corruption Updates

This from the Consumers Union

As the deadline nears for health insurance companies to return nearly $1.4 billion to us for wasting our money, the lobbyists have moved in to stop it.

Two bills have surfaced in Congress to undermine our rebates, putting most of the money we deserve right back into insurance company pockets! I just took action at Consumers Union’s website to fight the lobbyists, and hope you will join me.

One of the most pro-consumer rules in the national health reform law is aimed squarely at how insurance companies spend our money. If an insurance company spends more than 20 percent of our premium dollars on their paperwork, marketing and CEO salaries, we get a rebate, or lower rates.

The deadline for the first round of rebate checks is August 1. And it’s estimated insurers owe 9 million Americans nearly $1.4 billion! But these bills in Congress would undermine that. Please add your voice now to help us fight these bills. Thank you!

I wonder why the Obama administration has been so negligent in appointing inspector generals.  Do they not want waste, fraud and abuse to be limited?  This from POGO, on the watch for corruption.

As the State Department spends billions of dollars on foreign aid, private security contractors in war zones, and embassy projects with massive cost overruns, their own in-house watchdog has been without a permanent leader for 1,491 days.

That’s over four years. And President Obama has yet to even nominate a candidate.

This is unacceptable. We need and deserve robust oversight now.

Offices of Inspector General (OIGs) are the public’s primary bulwarks against waste, fraud, and misconduct within federal agencies—but without a permanent leader to spearhead their operations, they’re much less effective. Unfortunately for taxpayers, the President is failing to nominate watchdogs to lead these offices in a timely manner.

To date, permanent IG positions at twelve different agencies remain unfilled. Seven of these positions—including those in major departments such as the Department of Justice and Department of the Interior—have been vacant for over a year.

The most troubling case is the State Department, which hasn’t had a permanent IG since the days of the last presidential election.

Tell President Obama to nominate a permanent IG at the State Department

State’s oversight of contractors has inspired little confidence, given scandals like “Spring Break in Kabul,” where there was a serious breakdown of discipline among private security personnel defending the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan. Now, the Department faces an unprecedented diplomatic mission in Iraq, and must oversee a massive influx of contractors to the country. Without a permanent IG, the opportunity for misconduct and waste is great.

Former State Department IG Clark Ervin told POGO that it “is incredibly important to have a presidentially appointed, Senate-confirmed Inspector General for every [applicable] agency, but certainly for one as crucial to national security as State.”

If you care about government accountability and what happens to the billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars in Iraq, please tell President Obama to nominate a credible, independent IG for the State Department without delay. This procrastination has gone on for far too long, and we’re looking at a ticking time bomb.



danielle-8s.PNG Danielle Brian
Executive Director

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