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The financial exploitation of seniors is a growing problem in the U.S. and is expected to continue to grow as the population of older Americans also increases. The Department of Health and Human Services has created a national database for reporting elder abuse with the goal of improving preventions, interventions, and services for exploited senior…
 
The Department of Defense spends billions of dollars every year developing high-tech weapons to maintain our battlefield superiority. Sometimes, we sell these weapons to our allies overseas in an effort to support U.S. national security, foreign policy, or economic interests. However, these high-tech weapons can become the targets of theft, espiona…
 
Transportation—whether it's planes, trains, boats or cars—is becoming more automated. While automated technology holds promise—such as improving your ability to parallel park—recent accidents caused by automated technology have demonstrated its potential safety challenges. Wow is this technology being monitored to ensure it is safe? We talk to GAO'…
 
As the number of older Americans increases, so does the need for long term health services and supports. Medicaid is the nation's primary payer for long-term care. And because of how expensive it is to provide this care, more and more states are moving to managed care delivery models. But there are concerns about access to and the quality of care p…
 
NASA has plans to return American astronauts to the Moon by the end of 2024, However, the success of these plans depend on two upcoming test flights. GAO reviewed NASA's progress towards that first test flight, as well as, the cost of efforts and the likelihood NASA will meet its 2024 deadline. We talk with GAO's Bill Russell, an expert on NASA pro…
 
The federal government relies heavily on information and communication technology products and services to carry out day-to-day operations. This dependency has increased the complexity, diversity, and scale of the government supply chains--that is, the public and private partnerships that make, implement, or use communication technology solutions. …
 
Rising college costs have outpaced federal grant aid, leading to concerns that a greater burden of costs are being borne by students and their families. This can also contribute to concerns about student loan debt. To help families save for college, some states, cities, and nonprofit organizations created savings or investment programs, often refer…
 
The electromagnetic spectrum is the range of frequencies critical for communications, navigation, and more. This information could be simple things we use every day, like GPS devises. However, the Department of Defense is using it for serious things--like national defense and controlling military equipment and operation. We talk with GAO's Joe Kirs…
 
Because of COVID-19, U.S. passenger air carriers are in dire economic straits in need assistance to prevent layoffs and other impacts to their employees, as well as significant impacts to travelers if there are reduced services. The CARES Act relief package authorizes the Department of Treasury to make us to $46 billion in loans or loan guarantees …
 
This year's wildfires on the West Coast--as well as those during previous years--have raised concerns about air quality, especially as these disasters grow in scale and number. Despite this, national data show that the U.S. has made significant progress in reducing air pollution levels since the 1970s. But how do we know that air quality is actuall…
 
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 …
 
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