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Question of the Week

This archive includes posts from our “Question of the Week” series, in which the Whistleblower Insider blog addresses topics of interest to whistleblowers.  Return to:

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Question of the Week — Who should be the Whistleblower of the Year Candidates?

Posted  12/21/18
Black plastic whistle with cord on white background
Each year, the whistleblower insider blog holds a contest for the Whistleblower of the Year. Previous winners include James Comey, for making certain information about the Trump administration public, LeAnne Walters, for bringing attention to the clean water crises in Flint, and Craig Watts, for revealing Perdue’s cruel chicken farming practices. The contest is meant to honor, and provide a platform for, brave...

Question of the Week — Should the government pay for automatically refilled prescriptions?

Posted  12/13/18
This week, Target agreed to pay $3 million to resolve a former pharmacist’s whistleblower suit alleging Target submitted false claims by violating Massachusetts Medicaid rules barring claims for automatic prescription refills. Under the state’s rule, pharmacies are prohibited from billing Medicaid for refills dispensed without a patient request. As pharmacy costs continue to rise, more state Medicaid programs...

Question of the Week — Should Trump’s businesses have to answer subpoenas in a case that alleges foreign powers are lining the President’s pockets?

Posted  12/5/18
On Tuesday, the attorneys general of Washington, D.C. and Maryland issued several subpoenas in a lawsuit alleging President Donald Trump violated the U.S. Constitution’s emoluments clauses.  The “foreign” emoluments clause generally prohibits federal officeholders from receiving any gift, payment, or other thing of value from a foreign state or its rulers, officers, or representatives. The “domestic”...

Question of the Week — Should Medicare Have More Drug Price Negotiating Power?

Posted  11/29/18
This week, the Trump Administration proposed new rules that would allow insurers that participate in Medicare’s prescription drug program-known as Part D plan sponsors-to exclude certain drugs from coverage if their prices rise faster than inflation. The goal of the proposal is to lower prescription drug costs for seniors by giving Medicare insurers more leverage in their negotiations with pharmaceutical...

Question of the Week — Should States Be Able to Criminalize Whistleblowing on Farm Conditions?

Posted  11/7/18
This Monday a district court judge struck down Wyoming’s “ag-gag” laws as unconstitutional.  Ag-gag laws criminalize photographing or videotaping any activity on a farm or agricultural operation without the owner’s consent. Wyoming’s two ag-gag laws prohibited individuals from entering onto land “for the purpose of collecting resource data” without the permission of the landowner, prohibited the use of...

Question of the Week — Pricing information in prescription ads on television?

Posted  11/2/18
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has proposed a rule that requires the list price (or, “wholesale acquisition cost”) to appear clearly in television ads for prescription drugs and biologics. The CMS reasons that by ensuring that Medicare and Medicaid patients receive cost information, patients can make more informed decisions that will save them money. For example, co-insurance for some high cost drugs...

Question of the Week — Should a Non-Disclosure Agreement Hush Up the Danske Bank Whistleblower?

Posted  10/24/18
Over the last month, a major financial scandal has roiled Europe. In September, Danske Bank, the largest bank in Denmark, announced that hundreds of billions of dollars in suspicious money had moved through its Estonia branch. Moreover, the company knew about the money, which originated in Russia and other former Soviet states, for years before taking action. In the wake of this tectonic money-laundering scandal,...

Question of the Week — Should Whistleblowers Receive Rewards for Exposing Data Breaches?

Posted  10/17/18
Hardly a week goes by without more news of an actual or attempted data breach threatening consumer privacy or government security. In just this past month, Uber, Anthem and Facebook all made headlines for massive data breaches affecting millions of users and customers. In late September, Facebook notified its users of a data breach that exposed over 50 million people to hackers who could have taken over the users’...

Question of the Week — Is it Time for an Anti-Money Laundering Whistleblower Program?

Posted  10/11/18
Current US law includes a variety of whistleblower programs that reward private persons for bringing information to the government. The programs range widely, and include everything from the False Claims Act (which rewards whistleblowers for revealing fraud against the government) to the SEC whistleblower program (rewards for reporting violations of US securities laws) to the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships...

Question of the Week — Do Animals Need Whistleblowers?

Posted  09/26/18
A variety of whistleblower reward programs assist the U.S. government in identifying wrongdoing, holding bad actors accountable, and, often, compensating whistleblowers for the great risks they take to expose fraud and other misconduct. The False Claims Act (FCA) is by far the most widely used vehicle through which whistleblowers report fraud against the government. In fiscal year 2017, the government paid out $392...
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