House Republicans ask for details on healthcare implementation spending
August 10, 2012
House Republicans on Thursday asked government auditors for a detailed accounting of the money being used to implement President Obama's healthcare law.
Republican leaders on the Ways and Means Committee asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate how much money the Obama administration has spent implementing the law — and how much it expects to spend through 2014, when most of the major provisions take effect.
The lawmakers asked for detailed information about the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO), which is handling the bulk of the implementation effort. They asked GAO to determine the total amount of money CCIIO plans to spend by 2014, and for a breakdown of spending on salaries, advertising, polling, travel and conferences.
Reps. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), Wally Herger (R-Calif.) and Charles Boustany (R-La.) also raised questions about the administration's decision to house CCIIO within the agency that oversees Medicare and Medicaid.
CCIIO was initially set up as its own office, but was moved into the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in January 2011. HHS said at the time that the move would improve efficiency, and Republicans saw it as a way to try to shield CCIIO from bills to cut off funding to implement the healthcare law.
The Ways and Means Republicans are now asking GAO whether CCIIO is siphoning away money from Medicare and Medicaid.
"CMS currently serves nearly 100 million of America's most vulnerable — seniors, people with disabilities, and the poor," the lawmakers wrote. "We are concerned that the diversion of funds and other resources that are intended to serve these vulnerable populations will have far reaching consequences on Medicare and Medicaid program options."