Chairman Roskam Unveils Bill to Create an Obamacare Special Inspector General

May 19, 2015
Press Release
Legislation Supported By Conservative Advocacy Groups and All Key Oversight Chairs

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam (R-IL) released the following statement after introducing H.R. 2400, legislation to create a Special Inspector General for Monitoring the Affordable Care Act (SIGMA). The bill is supported by all Majority members of the Oversight Subcommittee and all key oversight subcommittee chairs, as well as a wide array of prominent conservative advocacy organizations. Companion legislation in the Senate has been introduced by Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS).

“In the years since Democrats rammed Obamacare through Congress, our country has already seen the costly consequences of this law: billions of dollars wasted on a failed website and overpayments, millions of Americans kicked off their healthcare plans, and skyrocketing premiums for hardworking families and small businesses,” said Chairman Roskam. “Now, a pending Supreme Court decision threatens to upend the law—casting further uncertainty over the future of our entire healthcare system. We need assurance that—until Obamacare is repealed and replaced—there is rigorous oversight in place to prevent more taxpayer dollars from being squandered on this law. A SIGMA alone would have needed authority to oversee all federal agencies involved in implementing and administering Obamacare and protect the American people from its harmful effects. I want to thank my colleagues for their strong support of this measure to finally hold the Administration accountable for this broken law.”

“We need to do everything possible to repeal and replace Obamacare with real health reforms that lower costs and restore the all-important relationship between a patient and their doctor,” said Senator Roberts (R-KS). “However, as long as this law is on the books, we need a watchdog, namely a Special Inspector General, to investigate its implementation and ensure our taxpayer dollars are being spent within the letter of the law.”

“It’s clear Obamacare isn’t working, which is a predictable result of what happens when legislation is crafted behind closed doors and then forced through Congress with no bipartisan input or oversight,” said Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), Chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. “Our bill will help to put in place an independent watchdog so that we can know how exactly this law is impacting Americans. Ultimately, Obamacare should be repealed and replaced with healthcare reform that is patient-centered and consumer-driven that decreases costs and increases access to quality care.”

“Since its inception, Obamacare has resulted in millions of Americans losing their health care plans, spiking premiums, and untold government waste through broken insurance exchanges run by unelected bureaucrats,” said Congressman Bill Flores (R-TX), Chairman of the Republican Study Committee. “The deeper we dig into Obamacare, the more problems we find. Establishing a Special Inspector General will increase transparency and hold the federal government accountable for its bureaucracy’s many failures. While the House works to repeal the president’s disastrous health care law, America’s families and taxpayers have a right to know the true cost of Obamacare’s waste and abuse.”

“President Obama’s signature health care law was passed deceptively, under the cloak of secrecy and through backroom deals,” said Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH), Chairman of the House Freedom Caucus and House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Health Care, Benefits, and Administrative Rules. “A Special Inspector General would be able to thoroughly review Obamacare and provide oversight of how it’s being implemented. Mandatory reports would ensure that Congress and more importantly the American people know exactly how their tax dollars are being spent through this unaffordable government takeover of the health insurance industry.”

“In both my legal career and service in congress, I have seen the effective use of Special Inspectors General to provide the necessary oversight and protection the American people demand and deserve of their government,” said Congressman Tom Marino (R-PA), Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law. “Chairman Roskam’s SIGMA legislation is absolutely vital to gaining access to information about Obamacare’s performance, or lack thereof, while adding an independent set of eyes watching the law’s implementation until we can fully repeal it. I applaud the Chairman’s work and that of our colleagues who seek every avenue to protect the American people from Obamacare.”

“As expected when it was passed by Democrats and throughout implementation, the president’s healthcare law falls short of success for the majority of the American people,” said Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK), Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. “While I certainly support full repeal of Obamacare, I believe that Congressman Peter Roskam’s legislative efforts to improve oversight and accountability of the law through creation of an impartial inspector general makes sense. In the days ahead, I am hopeful that we can save taxpayer dollars and organize some of the chaos and confusion that has resulted from the president’s unworkable law.”

“Real health care reform delivers care patients need, at a price they can afford, from the doctor of their choosing,” said Congressman Tim Murphy (R-PA), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. “Unfortunately, what has been forced on the American people accomplishes none of that and is laden with problems. The SIGMA Act is a critically needed oversight tool to bring fulltime accountability to the President’s failed law.”

“There is no question that Obamacare has already taken a toll on our economy—from forcing small businesses to cut employee hours to inflating healthcare costs for American families,” said Congressman Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN), Chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions. “Instituting a SIGMA would set up a robust oversight system to rein in the president’s health care law and I am proud to support this commonsense legislation.”

“If there’s any government boondoggle that cries out for a special inspector general, it’s Obamacare. ATR is proud to support this bill,” said Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR).

“In order for Americans to fully understand the impacts of the ACA they should have a clear account of how this law that affects their lives, and we at AFP believe that this proposal goes above and beyond to achieve such oversight,” said Brent Garner, Vice President of Government Affairs for Americans for Prosperity (AFP). “When the government starts any new program oversight is expected, but when a government program takes over a fifth of the American economy, taxpayer dollars should have the highest level of protection.”

“I applaud Chairman Roskam’s effort to create a Special Inspector General for Monitoring the Affordable Care Act (SIGMA),” said Tom Schatz, President of Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW). “The Affordable Care Act has proven to be so complex and riddled with inefficiencies that a finely focused investigative operation should be created to uncover and expose waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement.”

“Your legislation to create a Special Inspector General’s office for Obamacare is long overdue,” said David Williams, President of Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA). “TPA favors full repeal of Obamacare, but as long as it exists as law, it is important to have proper oversight for any government money being used to fund the program. TPA urges all members of the House to support your legislation creating an Obamacare Special Inspector General, so that taxpayers can have a full accounting of any expenditures related to this law in the past, present, and future.”

“Failed websites, legally questionable waivers, distribution of incorrect tax forms, overpayment of subsidies – these are just a few of the myriad reasons why we need greater oversight of Obamacare,” said Brandon Arnold, Executive Vice President of the National Taxpayers Union. “That’s why National Taxpayers Union is happy to endorse Congressman Peter Roskam’s SIGMA Act, which would help protect taxpayers from further waste, fraud and abuse by creating a Special Inspector General for Monitoring the Affordable Care Act.”

“It is extremely important for Congress to conduct oversight of the health overhaul law that mandates sweeping changes to one sixth of the U.S. economy, spends trillions of taxpayer dollars, and impacts the health care of virtually everyone in the United States,” said Grace-Marie Turner, President of The Galen Institute. “Congressman Roskam is to be commended for working to protect citizens by calling for a Special Inspector General to conduct audits about the ACA’s implementation and spending and to regularly report the findings to the Congress and the American people.  An independent special inspector general is needed because the Obama administration has demonstrated that it obscures and even hides information that Congress needs in order to make public policy decisions about the law and to make sure taxpayer dollars are being spent appropriately."

“Your legislation is a critical step in helping end in the squandering of billions of taxpayer dollars due to waste, fraud and abuse through the creation of a Special Inspector General to provide financial oversight to Obamacare,” said Amy Noone Frederick, President of the 60 Plus Association. “Given the enormous complexity of the healthcare law, Congress has a responsibility to ensure that taxpayer dollars are protected and this legislation will help do just that.  The 60 Plus Association is proud to stand with you and whole-heartedly support the SIGMA Act of 2015.”

"Thank you for introducing legislation to provide increased oversight of the Affordable Care Act,” said Kevin Kuhlman, Director of Legislative Affairs for National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). “Small businesses have long been concerned about the law and its implementation, and requiring reports on all aspects of the law will help provide the transparency that small business owners and all taxpayers deserve from their government."

"ACA's disruptive impact on small businesses and all Americans must be investigated and measured,” said Karen Kerrigan, President and CEO of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council). “Significant taxpayer resources have been expended on botched health insurance exchanges and's poor rollout, HHS missteps and bad decision-making in general.  An unbiased IG is needed to monitor how tax dollars have been spent, are being spent, and to further investigate the workings of this vast program. The SIGMA Act provides for the focused oversight and accountability that taxpayers deserve."