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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Data Security: Protecting the Privacy of Phone Records
This report discusses recent legislative and regulatory efforts to protect the privacy of customer telephone records, and efforts to prevent the unauthorized use, disclosure, or sale of such records by data brokers. In addition, it provides a brief overview of the confidentiality protections for customer information established by the Communications Act of 1934. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9027/
Data Security: Protecting the Privacy of Phone Records
This report discusses recent legislative and regulatory efforts to protect the privacy of customer telephone records, and efforts to prevent the unauthorized use, disclosure, or sale of such records by data brokers. In addition, it provides a brief overview of the confidentiality protections for customer information established by the Communications Act of 1934. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9026/
Drug Control
How to prevent the non-medical use of dependency-producing drugs has been a public policy concern for at least a century. A large part of the responsibility for controlling such substances has been assumed by the Federal Government. Historically based on decision to restrict availability through a system of close regulation, including selective prohibition, the current Federal anti-drugs strategy lives on activities and programs in five major areas: 1) regulation and other “enforcement” efforts; 2) support for international control and for control efforts of individual drug-producing and drug-transiting countries; 3) education and other prevention activities; 4 ) treatment and rehabilitation for drug-dependent persons; and ( 5 ) research on drugs , drug dependency, and prevention and treatment methods. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8518/
Infant Formula: National Problems
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Three Utility Financing Issues
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Three Utility Financing Issues
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Financial Regulatory Reform: Analysis of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) as Proposed by the Obama Administration and H.R. 3126
This report provides a brief summary of the President's Consumer Financial Protection Agency Act of 2009 (the CPFA Act or the Act) and delineates some of the substantive differences between it and H.R. 3126, as introduced. It then analyzes some of the policy implications of the proposal, focusing on the separation of safety and soundness regulation from consumer protection, financial innovation, and the scope of regulation. The report then raises some questions regarding state law preemption, sources of funding, and rule-making procedures that the Act does not fully answer. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26183/
State Securities Class Action Suits: Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner
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Prescription Drug Coverage Under Medicaid
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Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, H.R. 1036, S. 659, S. 1805, S. 1806, 108th Congress: Legal Analysis
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The Internal Revenue Service's Use of Private Debt Collection Agencies: Current Status and Issues for Congress
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Medicare Endorsed Prescription Drug Discount Card Program
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Spyware: Background and Policy Issues for Congress
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Class Actions and Proposed Reform in the 107th Congress: Class Action Fairness Act of 2002
This report discusses the Class Action Fairness Act of 2002. The bill reflects a preference for class actions to be adjudicated in federal courts and would enlarge U.S. district courts original jurisdiction over class actions with claims aggregating $2,000,000 or more (even if each of the members of the class had not sustained damages in excess of $75,000 as is now required). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3241/
Class Actions and Proposed Reform in the 108th Congress: Class Action Fairness Act of 2003
The report discusses the consumer class action bill of rights in each proposal contains safeguards which provide for judicial scrutiny of coupon and other non-cash settlements, protection against a proposed settlement that would result in a net loss to a class member, protection against discrimination based upon geographic location, and prohibition on a class representative receiving a greater share of the award. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5117/
President Bush's Proposed Medicare-Endorsed Drug Discount Card Initiative: Status and Issues
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The Cost of Prescription Drugs for the Uninsured Elderly and Legislative Approaches
The purpose of this report is to explain why many of those who are least able to afford high drug costs are those who are most frequently charged the most. This report describes the basic economic theory underlying price differentiation and, in the context of the pharmaceutical market, analyzes the role and behavior of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), pharmaceutical manufacturers, and retail pharmacies, respectively. It also looks at a number of the criticisms that have been made of the practice of differential pricing. Finally, this report discusses various policy approaches aimed at assisting the elderly to purchase prescription drugs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1520/
Medicare: Major Prescription Drug Provisions of Selected Bills
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Medicare: Major Prescription Drug Provisions of Selected Bills
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Medicare: Major Prescription Drug Provisions of Selected Bills
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President Bush's Proposed Medicare-Endorsed Drug Discount Card Initiative: Status and Issues
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President Bush's Proposed Medicare-Endorsed Drug Discount Card Initiative: Status and Issues
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Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, H.R. 1036, 108th Congress: Legal Analysis
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Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, H.R. 1036 and S. 659, 108th Congress: Legal Analysis
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Advertising of Alcoholic Beverages: Should a Radio and TV Ban be Imposed?
This issue brief discusses the ongoing debate centered around television and radio advertising of alcoholic beverages, especially as it relates to the possible negative influence on the drinking habits of minors. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9049/
Attorneys' Fees in the State Tobacco Litigation Cases
In the past few years, many states have filed complaints against the tobacco industry in state court to recover Medicaid costs paid by the states to treat their citizens for tobacco related illnesses. The states are also attempting to recover other damages, such as punitive damages, against the tobacco industry. For various reasons, the states have hired private attorneys to assist the state Attorneys General in prosecuting these cases. In most cases, the retention of private counsel has included a fee agreement specifying the amount of compensation that these attorneys will receive for their services. These agreements are not uniform among the states, but most tend to provide some form of contingency fee arrangement. Some of these states have developed a sliding scale contingency fee schedule which varies with the amount of time spent on the litigation and whether a trial has begun. This report briefly summarizes the different fee agreements that the states have with private counsel. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs377/
Medicare Prescription Drug Provisions of S.1, as Passed by the Senate, and H.R. 1, as Passed by the House
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Overview of the Medicare Prescription Drug and Reform Legislation
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Medicare Prescription Drug and Reform Legislation
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Food Safety in the 111th Congress
This report discusses whether the current food safety system has the resources, authority, and structural organization to safeguard the health of American consumers, who spend more than $1 trillion on food each year. Also at issue is whether federal food safety laws, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31334/
Food Safety in the 111th Congress: H.R. 2749 and S. 510
This report discusses whether the current food safety system has the resources, authority, and structural organization to safeguard the health of American consumers, who spend more than $1 trillion on food each year. Also at issue is whether federal food safety laws, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31333/
Food Safety in the 111th Congress: H.R. 2749 and S. 510
This report discusses whether the current food safety system has the resources, authority, and structural organization to safeguard the health of American consumers, who spend more than $1 trillion on food each year. Also at issue is whether federal food safety laws, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31332/
The FDA 2009 Budget Request
The Administration's FY2009 budget request of $2.4 billion for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would provide a 5.7% increase ($130 million) over FY2008. User fees would make up about 26% of the total amount requested and would account for 61% of the proposed increase. Budget documents indicate that the additional funding would provide for expanded activities to ensure the safety of foods and drugs, as well as to accelerate the availability of new medical products. About half of the requested increase would be used for cost-of-living pay increases, as opposed to new program activities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10745/
Food Safety in the 111th Congress: H.R. 2749 and S. 510
This report discusses whether the current food safety system has the resources, authority, and structural organization to safeguard the health of American consumers, who spend more than $1 trillion on food each year. Also at issue is whether federal food safety laws, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29562/
Food Safety in the 111th Congress: H.R. 2749 and S. 510
This report discusses whether the current food safety system has the resources, authority, and structural organization to safeguard the health of American consumers, who spend more than $1 trillion on food each year. Also at issue is whether federal food safety laws, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29563/
Tobacco Marketing and Advertising Restrictions in S. 1415, 105th Congress: First Amendment Issues
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Tobacco Marketing and Advertising Restrictions in S. 1648, 105th Congress: First Amendment Issues
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Tobacco Advertising: The Constitutionality of Limiting its Tax Deductibility
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Tobacco Advertising: Whether the FDA's Restrictions Violate Freedom of Speech
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Geographical Indications and WTO Negotiations
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Copyright Law: Digital Rights Management Legislation
Digital Rights Management (DRM) refers to the technology that copyright owners use to protect digital media. This report surveys several of the DRM bills that were introduced in the 107th Congress and those that are pending in the 108th Congress. Generally, the bills are directed at two separate goals. One goal is to increase access to digitally-protected media for lawful purposes. The other attempts to thwart digital piracy and would do so by enhancing civil and criminal sanctions for digital (and traditional) copyright infringement and educating the public about the rights of copyright holders. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5956/
Payday Loans: Federal Regulatory Initiatives
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Steel: Price and Policy Issues
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The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act's Insurance for Troubled Assets
Many observers trace the root cause of recent instability in financial markets to uncertainty surrounding the value of widely held securities that are based on mortgages and mortgage-related assets. The introduction of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (EESA) was designed to address said financial instability through a variety of measures, including an insurance program for "troubled assets." This report briefly summarizes and analyzes the insurance program contained in the enacted version of the EESA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10806/
"Price Gouging," the Antitrust Laws, and Vertical Integration in the Petroleum Industry: How They Are Related
This report, which may be updated to further reflect congressional action, attempts to provide the antitrust context for prohibited practices, such as "price gouging"; notes prior congressional action concerning vertical divestiture in the petroleum industry; and provides information on the state "divorcement" statutes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10649/
Increases in Tricare Costs: Background and Options for Congress
In its FY2007 budget submission, the Department of Defense (DOD) proposed increases in Tricare enrollment fees, deductibles, and pharmacy co-payments for retired beneficiaries not yet eligible for Medicare. The raises were justified by DOD as necessary to constrain the growth of health care spending as a proportion of the overall defense budget in the next decade. Many beneficiaries argued that the proposed hikes were unfair and unnecessary. The FY2007 Defense Authorization Act prohibited increases in premiums, deductibles, and co-payments prior to September 30, 2007. The FY2008 National Defense Authoriztion Act extended the prohibition of increases in co-payments and enrollment fees until October 2008 and Congress may move to extend them further. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10666/
Implications of the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit for State Budgets
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Wireless Privacy and Spam: Issues for Congress
Wireless communications devices such as cell phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs) are ubiquitous. Some consumers, already deluged with unwanted commercial messages, or “spam,” via computers that access the Internet by traditional wireline connections, are concerned that such unsolicited advertising is expanding to wireless communications, further eroding their privacy. Congress continues to debate how to protect wireless subscribers further, and several bills were considered in the 108th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8209/
Homeland Security Act of 2002: Tort Liability Provisions
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Copyright Law: Digital Rights Management Legislation
Digital Rights Management (DRM) refers to the technology that copyright owners use to protect digital media. This report surveys several of the DRM bills that were introduced in the 107th Congress and those that are pending in the 108th Congress. Generally, the bills are directed at two separate goals. One goal is to increase access to digitally-protected media for lawful purposes. The other attempts to thwart digital piracy and would do so by enhancing civil and criminal sanctions for digital (and traditional) copyright infringement and educating the public about the rights of copyright holders. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5957/