Waste, Fraud and Abuse

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Soaring costs vex health care witnesses

The escalating cost of health care is making sick patients wait until they get sicker before receiving the medicine that would cure them. That was one of the warnings from a Feb. 4 California Senate Health Committee hearing titled, ”Making Health Care Affordable:

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Tax board criticized for delays

  California’s Franchise Tax Board is taking too long to complete audits and resolve taxpayers’ refund claims, protests and appeals, costing businesses hundreds of millions of dollars, according to the California Taxpayers Association. Gina Rodriquez, vice president of state tax

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Stormwater tax drowns voters

California is embarking on a program of capturing storm water from flood control channels for urban landscaping at high costs.  And stormwater capture projects won’t require voter approval under Proposition 218, the Right to Vote on Taxes Act, because courts have

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Lack of mental health accounting ‘sheer craziness’

  In 2004 California voters passed Proposition 63, based on the promise it would tax the rich to help the state’s mentally ill population. But 10 years later, while it’s been successful in taking about $10 billion from top earners,

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Covered CA premiums set to spike

  For some time, Obamacare critics have warned that health insurance premiums would skyrocket once the Affordable Care Act went into effect. Now they say the leap in premiums, as calculated by state Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, is just the

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Consumer Watchdog criticized for ‘misleading’ report

The shoe’s on the other foot for Consumer Watchdog (no connection to CalWatchdog.com). Routinely critical of state regulators for failing to protect consumers, the consumer advocacy group has been criticized by an independent oversight panel for presenting “incorrect” and “misleading” information to the public.

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FTB spends 5 years, fails to collect $392

  California’s Franchise Tax Board spent thousands of dollars over five years in the futile pursuit of a Redondo Beach septuagenarian for $392. For more than half of that time, FTB staff lost the taxpayer’s records and didn’t inform him

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Court hears objections to high-speed rail

This is Part 2 of a two-part series. Part 1 is here. The first article in this series on the crucial May 23 hearing before the Third District Court of Appeal reported that questions asked by the justices seemed to lean

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Judge blasts ‘corrupt’ Cal Fire in wildfire lawsuit

  Superior Court Judge Leslie Nichols this month ruled that the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection repeatedly deceived and withheld evidence in a lawsuit seeking $8.1 million from a company and several landowners for a wildfire that the company

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Covered California video features gyrating Richard Simmons

Facing a $78 million budget shortfall, Covered California spent $1.37 million on an outreach campaign that included a video featuring exercise guru Richard Simmons gyrating on the floor and hugging a kneeling contortionist whose buttocks stuck in the air. The

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