Department of Health and Human Services officials have only released "one heavily redacted page of one document" in response to congressional subpoenas about the funding of a disputed Obamacare program, and HHS staff has refused to communicate with congressional investigators, House Republicans charged Tuesday.
"The pattern of conduct to this point suggests that the department intends to frustrate our legitimate efforts to conduct oversight of the Basic Health Program," House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, wrote to HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell.
Lawmakers have been waiting nearly a year for HHS to release information on how the department funds the Basic Health Program, which helps states provide coverage to low-income people who are ineligible for Medicaid. Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., and other congressional investigators believe the Obama administration is funding the program illegally, by sending the states money collected by the IRS that should be reserved for tax refunds.
Roskam confronted Burwell last June about where she gets the legal authority to spend that money, and said the Obama administration was spending taxpayer money without congressional approval. "The law is really clear: You can't spend money that hasn't been appropriated [by Congress]," he said on Fox News following her testimony.