A Republican congressman is calling for the federal government to hire a full-time watchdog for ObamaCare, amid ongoing concerns about fraud and mismanagement.
Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., introduced a bill on Thursday that would create a "Special Inspector General for Monitoring the Affordable Care Act (SIGMA)." He told Fox News the position is needed to follow the money.
"There's very specific criteria that the special inspector general is required to produce and follow up on," Roskam told Fox News. "But the point is it needs to be done holistically and in a larger context. It's just a common sense approach to government and oversight."
Similar positions have been created before to oversee the billions spent in Iraq and Afghanistan reconstruction, and the $700 billion financial industry bailout. Experts say billions of taxpayer dollars in fines, penalties and restitution were recovered on behalf of American taxpayers.
"It's certainly good enough for something that has an impact on every single American, every single American business, and has a cost of $1.8 trillion [over the next decade]," Roskam said about the health care law. "It deserves that level of scrutiny."
He added: "It's not only ripe for possible fraud, it's ripe for manipulation, it's ripe for political manipulation."
A House leadership aide said timing for a vote on the House floor has not been set.
But House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said, based on what she knows about the bill, she doesn't support it.
"Each of the agencies of government that [implement the Affordable Care Act] have their own inspectors general," Pelosi said. "I think that the system has enough appropriate oversight. I don't see any reason to go to that point."
"Only an independent, congressionally authorized special inspector general with the authority to reach into the many federal departments, state governments, outside contractors and a deeply involved White House can provide the much-needed transparency and accountability in a way that no single oversight official currently can," Roskam said.
The bill would require the ObamaCare watchdog to report to Congress within 120 days, and provide quarterly reports and audits on all aspects of the health care law.
Mike Emanuel currently serves as chief congressional correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC). He joined FNC in 1997 as a Los Angeles-based correspondent.