Recent GAO reports


Long-Term Budget Outlook: Deficits Matter--Saving Our Future Requires Tough Choices Today, GAO-07-389T, January 23, 2007
      Abstract (html)    Testimony (pdf, 24pp/308kB)

      Main points of testimony by the Comptroller General:
  • The current financial condition in the United States is worse than is widely understood.
  • The current fiscal path is both imprudent and unsustainable.
  • Improvements in information and processes are needed and can help.
  • Meeting the long-term fiscal challenge will require (1) significant entitlement reform to change the path of those programs; (2) reprioritizing, restructuring and constraining other spending programs; and (3) more revenues--hopefully through a reformed tax system.
  • This will take bipartisan cooperation and compromise.

Prescription Drugs: An Overview of Approaches to Negotiate Drug Prices Used by Other Countries and U.S. Private Payers and Federal Programs, GAO-07-358T, January 11, 2007
      Highlights (pdf, 1p/68kB)    Report (pdf, 21pp/252kB)
  • Other countries limit their drug purchase costs by such means as: establishing maximum prices manufacturers may charge; using local or international price comparisons of drugs in a therapeutically similar group to establish a single or maximum price; limiting a manufacturer's profits per product or within a specified period of time.
  • U.S. private payers generally contract with pharmacy benefit managers to manage prescription drug benefits.
  • While adhering to U.S. laws and health care delivery, federal programs utilize elements common to approaches used by other countries and by private payers.
Medicaid Outpatient Drugs: Estimated 2007 Federal Upper Limits for Reimbursement Compared with Retail Pharmacy Acquisition Costs, GAO-07-239R, December 22, 2006
      Abstract (html)    Report (pdf, 31pp/820kB)

      Discusses the new methodology for calculating the federal upper limit (FUL) for drugs, the maximum that state Medicaid programs may receive in federal matching funds for reimbursements. Previously 150 percent of the lowest price for a drug, from Jan. 1, 2007, a drug's FUL will be based on the average manufacturer price.


Highlights of a GAO Forum: Global Competitiveness: Implications for the Nation's Higher Education System, GAO-07-135SP, January 23, 2007
      Highlights (pdf, 1p/68kB)    Report (pdf, 26pp/7.2MB)

Steps the U.S. needs to take to continue to attract talented international students:
  • Develop a national strategic plan - to recruit students and improve coordination among the federal government and other organizations as well as with students.
  • Consider changes to the U.S. immigration system.
  • Explore new sources of students, such as developing countries.

Poverty in America: Economic Research Shows Adverse Impacts on Health Status and Other Social Conditions as well as the Economic Growth Rate, GAO-07-344, January 24, 2007
      Highlights (pdf, 1p/56kB)    Report (pdf, 35pp/436kB)

      GAO was asked to review economic literature on the links between (1) poverty and adverse social conditions, such as poor health, crime, and participation in the labor force, and (2) poverty and economic growth.

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