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Early screening and detection for cancer can improve patients' outcomes and, ultimately, save lives. The CDC's Early Detection Program provides screenings to those enrolled in Medicaid. However, the number of people screened under this program has declined significantly in recent years. We talk to John Dicken, an expert on health care policy, and a…
 
COVID-19 cases began to increase again in mid-September, further highlighting the federal government's role in responding to the pandemic's continuing and devastating impacts on public health and the economy. Here at GAO, we've been monitoring and reviewing the federal response to COVID-19. We discuss our latest report--which looks at COVID testing…
 
If you've ever applied for a loan, you know that banks and credit unions collect a lot of personal financial information, like on your income and credit history. And it's not uncommon for customers--after applying or getting a loan--to receive advertisements in the mail for products from other vendors. While collecting this information is important…
 
Most of the nation's schools are closed to in-person learning as part of an effort to protect children from contracting COVID-19. However, in the scramble to keep kids safe, schools encountered logistical and instructional challenges in providing remote learning. Perhaps no population has been impacted by these challenges more than students with le…
 
COVID-19 continues to put severe strains on the U.S. health-care system--causing shortages in medical supplies meant to protect frontline workers and help save lives. In March, the President invoked the Defense Production Act, which authorized federal agencies to take steps to prioritize acquiring much needed medical supplies. However, there remain…
 
The Consumer Product Safety Commission is a small agency of about 500 full-time employees tasked with protecting U.S. shoppers from product hazards that could cause injury or even death. We talk with GAO's Alicia Puente Cackley--an expert on consumer protection issues and a director in our Financial Markets and Community Investment Team--about a ne…
 
The Department of Defense spends tens of billions of dollars annually to sustain existing weapon systems in an effort to ensure these systems are ready for potential conflicts and other missions. Aircraft--like fighter jets and helicopters--are one category of weapon systems in DOD's arsenal. In a new report out today, GAO assessed the condition an…
 
In February--just before the COVID-19 crisis hit the U.S.--the Department of Labor reported that employment was at the highest levels in 50 years. However, in that same month, millions of workers relied on federal social safety net programs to help pay for basic needs--including health care and food assistance. With increases in unemployment and un…
 
Vaccines can take up to 10 years to develop, and sometimes longer. But with the number of COVID-19 cases rapidly increasing and the catastrophic loss of life, the federal government has taken steps to accelerate this effort under Operation Warp Speed. What do these steps look like, and are they having an impact? We talk with two GAO experts--Direct…
 
Each year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture distributes billions of dollars in payments to farmers. These payments provide income that supports producers of key crops such as corn, cotton, and soybeans. We talk with GAO's Steve Morris--an expert on federal agriculture programs and a director in our Natural Resources and Environment Team--about a …
 
Broadband is the most commonly used form of internet access in the U.S. and provides high-speed connections through things like cables, fiber-optics, and satellites. Yet, millions of Americans still lack broadband--impacting their access to businesses, government services, education, and more. What is the status of plans to provide broadband access…
 
Family caregivers--such as adult children and spouses--play a critical role in supporting the elderly population, which is growing at a rapid rate in the United States. However, these caregivers may risk their own financial security in retirement. We talk with Kris Nguyen--an expert on retirement security, and a director in our Education, Workforce…
 
Counterfeit goods not only infringe on intellectual property rights, but can also harm the U.S. economy and threaten consumers' health by exposing them to potentially unsafe materials. U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the agency tasked with protecting consumers and U.S. markets from these goods. However, the CBP faces a growing number of count…
 
Many workers experience sexual harassment in their workplace. However, the prevalence of workplace sexual harassment in the United States--as well as the costs to the employee and their employer--are not fully understood. We talk to Cindy Brown Barnes, an expert on employment and equal opportunity issues, and the Managing Director of our Education,…
 
Schools collect and store a range of information about students, including data on their grades and test scores, addresses and phone numbers, Social Security numbers, and even medical information. Disclosing this information could be harmful to students physically, emotionally, and impact their long-term financial health. We talk with GAO's Jackie …
 
COVID-19 has proven highly disruptive to students and schools this year. But many communities face added disruptions caused by natural disasters--such as hurricanes and wildfires--which can cut electricity and internet access to communities, as well as render school facilities unusable for extended periods of time. We talk with GAO's Jackie Nowicki…
 
Airplanes are equipped with systems that provide information about the weather, flight location, communications, and more. While these systems are critical to flight safety, they also present opportunities for cyberattacks on commercial airplanes. We talk with GAO experts Heather Krause and Nick Marinos about a new report on the cybersecurity issue…
 
Exposing children to lead--in contaminated water, for example--can lead to long-term health problems like anemia, kidney and brain damage, as well as learning disabilities and decreased growth. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), child care facilities may be at risk for elevated levels of lead in their drinking water because the…
 
Heavy hurricanes seasons in 2017 and 2018, along with devastating wildfires in California, affected more than 47 million people in the United States--about 15 percent of the national population. In response to disaster events like these, the Federal Emergency Management Agency can provide financial assistance for home repairs, child care and transp…
 
Facilities that produce, use, or store hazardous chemicals can be dangerous to the communities where they are found, and could become targets of terrorists looking to inflict mass casualties and damage. In the United States, there are hundreds of thousands of these facilities, which include public water systems and wastewater treatment works. What …
 
The VA has taken steps to improve access to quality, timely health care. But veterans still report challenges in accessing this care. We talk with GAO's Debra Draper and Sharon Silas, two experts on veterans' health care issues, to find out more.By Government Accountability Office
 
Introduced in 1979, the W78 nuclear warhead is the oldest weapon in the U.S. nuclear stockpile that has not undergone a major update or replacement. Replacing this warhead could end up being the most expensive warhead replacement effort since the end of the Cold War, and could have broader implications on the Air Force and on warhead programs. We t…
 
Increasingly-sophisticated cyberthreats have underscored the need to strengthen the federal government's role in protecting critical infrastructure. These threats pose serious challenges to our economy, as well as our national security and your personal privacy. So, what is the federal government doing to prepare and protect against these threats? …
 
In response to COVID-19, Congress and federal agencies have taken unprecedented steps to direct funding and federal assistance to individuals, businesses, and communities. However, despite these efforts, the nation continues to face significant loss of life and profound economic disruptions. We've been monitoring and reviewing the federal response …
 
Last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced its plans to assist farmers directly affected by trade disruptions and tariffs. These disruptions affected a variety of agricultural products, such as soy and pork. Since announcing its plans, USDA has distributed about 14.5 billion dollars in payments to farmers under the 2019 Market Facilita…
 
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