GOP law­mak­ers seek probe into use of CMS funds

Modern Healthcare - - LATE NEWS -

House Republicans are re­quest­ing that Congress’ non­par­ti­san au­di­tor in­ves­ti­gate whether CMS funds were used for ini­tia­tives un­re­lated to Medi­care and Med­i­caid and re­port back shortly be­fore the Nov. 6 gen­eral elec­tion. Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), chair­man of the Ways and Means Com­mit­tee, Rep. Wally Herger (RCalif.), chair­man of the panel’s Health Sub­com­mit­tee, and Rep. Charles Bous­tany Jr. (R-La.), chair­man of the panel’s Over­sight Sub­com­mit­tee, asked the Gov­ern­ment Ac­count­abil­ity Of­fice for the in­ves­ti­ga­tion be­cause of their con­cerns that the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion “di­verted” CMS funds to im­ple­ment the fed­eral health­care over­haul. The Republicans’ query stems from the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s move to make the Cen­ter for Con­sumer In­for­ma­tion and In­sur­ance Over­sight—an agency im­ple­ment­ing as­pects of the health­care over­haul that Republicans op­pose—part of the CMS, ac­cord­ing to their let­ter to Gene Do­daro, the GAO’s comp­trol­ler gen­eral. “We sus­pect what pre­cip­i­tated this re­or­ga­ni­za­tion was the de­sire by the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion to tap into the sig­nif­i­cant fi­nan­cial re­sources at CMS’ dis­posal,” they wrote. HHS Sec­re­tary Kath­leen Se­be­lius said in Jan­uary 2011 that the move of the CCIIO from her of­fice to the CMS was ne­ces­si­tated by the health­care law’s im­ple­men­ta­tion mov­ing from a plan­ning phase to an op­er­a­tional phase. The au­dit was re­quested back by Oct. 15, or about three weeks be­fore the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

Camp was among those ask­ing for an in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

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