Democratic Committee Leaders on HHS Inspector General’s New Report on CMS Administrator’s Use of Private Consultants
House Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), House Oversight and Reform Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA), and Senate Finance Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) released the following joint statement regarding a new report from the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Inspector General on Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma’s use of private consultants:
“Over the past year, our offices have been investigating Administrator Verma’s use of millions of taxpayer dollars to retain high-end communications consultants to burnish her public profile. During the course of our ongoing investigation, we reviewed tens of thousands of pages of documents provided to our offices by HHS and the consultants.
“Today’s Inspector General report confirms that Administrator Verma and her top officials used contracts in violation of federal regulations and spent taxpayer funds inappropriately to retain these private consultants. We appreciate the Inspector General’s integrity in its detailed work here to uncover waste, fraud, and abuse within the Department. Administrator Verma’s blatant refusal to acknowledge the IG’s findings, or take steps to fix the problem, raises concerns about her ability to continue to run the agency during the current health crisis.
“We are now completing our investigation and will soon release our findings, which will build upon the Inspector General’s report and provide additional details on Administrator Verma’s inappropriate use of private consultants for her personal benefit.”