Net neutrality. Tax cuts for the rich. The cost of Medicare and billing mistakes — those are some of the deep dives our finance team took this past year. We looked into the ways economic policy affects CEOs, the agriculture industry and the taxpayer.
Read on for our biggest investigations in 2017, and how they could impact your money.
Now that Donald Trump is president, the banking industry is well on its way to accomplishing what has been its top priority goal for years: upending Dodd-Frank, the massive regulatory law that emerged from the financial crisis.
The Trump transition team website said it “will be working to dismantle the Dodd-Frank Act and replace it with new policies to encourage growth and job creation.” President Trump, while signing an executive order earlier this year to limit new regulations, told reporters he planned to “do a big number on Dodd-Frank.”
In re Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation
Facebook faced a lawsuit in Illinois for storing digitized faces in its growing database. The suit is ongoing, but behind the scenes, the social network giant is working feverishly to prevent other states from enacting a law like the one in Illinois.
Tech companies, whose business model is based on collecting data about its users and using it to sell ads, frequently oppose consumer privacy legislation. But privacy advocates say Facebook is uniquely aggressive in opposing all forms of regulation on its technology.
Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call
Federal health officials made more than $16 billion in improper payments to private Medicare Advantage health plans last year. Adding in the overpayments for standard Medicare programs, the tally for last year approaches $60 billion — which is almost twice as much as the National Institutes of Health spends on medical research each year.
James Cosgrove, who directs health care reviews for the Government Accountability Office, told Congress in July that "fundamental changes are necessary” to improve how the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ferrets out billing mistakes and recoups overpayments from health insurers.
Joy Pruitt/Center for Public Integrity
Idaho's Magic Valley’s dairy boom is a contemporary rural American success story — the kind that President Donald Trump railed as a candidate is too often missing across the country. Unemployment here was less than 3 percent this summer, about as good as it gets, and optimism should be high. Yet on dairy farms, among both owners and workers, a sense of dread hangs in the dry southern Idaho air.
In a word: Immigrants.
Dairy farmers lean heavily Republican in this deeply red state of only 1.7 million people, where 88 percent of the voting-age population are non-Hispanic whites. But in the age of Donald Trump — who won Idaho handily — even the farmers who supported the new president fear the fate of their businesses is about to run headlong into a harsh political reality.