Roberts introduces legislation that would establish ACA watchdog

Legislation introduced by Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) on Wednesday would establish a special inspector general to serve as a watchdog for the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Roberts, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, introduced the Special Inspector General for Monitoring the Affordable Care Act (SIGMA Act) to empower a special inspector general to investigate and audit any programs or agencies related to the ACA.

“Obamacare is costing the American public nearly $2 trillion,” Roberts said. “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 agencies involved with ACA have inspector generals that investigate individual aspects of the healthcare law, but there is no communication or collaboration between agencies.

“The Health and Human Services Inspector General (IG) isn’t talking to the Treasury IG, or the Department of Labor IG, or the Homeland Security IG,” Roberts said.

The SIGMA Act would provide authority to investigate all aspects of the law. The number of patients whose out-of-pocket costs have increased, the impact of the employer mandate, the security of the online healthcare exchange and cuts to Medicare would all be covered under the bill.

“I believe we need to do everything possible to repeal and replace this law with real health reforms that lower costs and restore the all-important relationship between a patient and their doctor,” Roberts said. “However, as long as this law is on the books, we need a watchdog, namely a special inspector general, to investigate the implementation of this law and ensure that our scarce taxpayer dollars are being spent in an appropriate manner.”