Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Roberts pushes Obamacare oversight

By The Herald Staff | 6/4/2014

WASHINGTON — While Pat Roberts waits until the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, can be fully repealed, he’s working to increase oversight of the massive health care reform legislation, his office said.

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, introduced a bill this week to create a Special Inspector General to serve as an “Obamacare watchdog” with the appropriate authority to investigate and audit programs or activities related to the health care law, he said.

WASHINGTON — While Pat Roberts waits until the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, can be fully repealed, he’s working to increase oversight of the massive health care reform legislation, his office said.

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, introduced a bill this week to create a Special Inspector General to serve as an “Obamacare watchdog” with the appropriate authority to investigate and audit programs or activities related to the health care law, he said.

“Obamacare is costing the American public nearly $2 trillion. This monstrous law is so far reaching that it is difficult to find a federal agency that doesn’t have a hand in the pot,” Roberts said. “And while all of the federal agencies charged with implementing Obamacare have their own Offices of the Inspector General, they are all investigating this law in their own silos. The Health and Human Services Inspector General isn’t talking to the Treasury IG, or the Department of Labor IG, or the Homeland Security IG.”

The inspector would have broad authority to review all aspects of the law, including the number of patients who have seen their premiums and out-of-pocket costs increased and shrinking physician and other provider networks; the employer mandate’s effect on worker hours, employers’ hiring, and the number of businesses subject to the penalty; the Healthcare.gov website’s security, functionality, and verification systems; duties of the Internal Revenue Service plans for calculating subsidy overpayments, how they will notify these individuals and what their plans are for recapturing these overpayments; and Medicare cuts via the IPAB, which will provide an analysis of the impact on medical outcomes for seniors as a result of the cuts, Roberts’ office said.

The incumbent senator, who faces re-election this year, said he thinks he has a duty to do everything in his power to repeal the law and replace it with “real health reforms that lower costs and restore the all-important relationship between a patient and their doctor.”

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