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Letter: How are government programs performing?

Published: Monday, April 7, 2014 11:02 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, July 25, 2014 4:41 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

I’m not sure about the rest of you, but I have some ongoing concerns about the Affordable Care Act.

Given that the act affects all Americans in one way or another, isn’t it odd that there is no single oversight official with the authority to audit and report on the entirety of the law, even though it crosses eight federal agencies? At a cost of $1.8 trillion – yes, trillion – I would like to see some audits performed, along with information flowing back to the taxpayers. After all, we are the ones who are paying for this.

U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam has asked for just that. He recently introduced H.R. 4158, which would create a special inspector general for monitoring the Affordable Care Act. This special inspector general would be required to report to Congress within 120 days, followed by a series of reports that would span every aspect of the healthcare law – from the increase in the individual’s out-of-pocket costs to Healthcare.gov’s data security (obviously needed), shrinking doctor and provider networks, and more.

Of course, my first thought was – are we just paying even more money to have this program audited? With more paper, more reports? Actually, special inspector generals for Iraq, Afghanistan and the Troubled Relief Program saved taxpayers more than $1.5 billion, and their combined cost was a fraction of what we’re spending on the Affordable Care Act. Given that, I am in support of this initiative. I would think that individuals of all political stripes would agree that we need to know how our government programs are performing so that we can change or eliminate the parts that are broken at the expense of our tax dollars.

Pamela Thompson Bartlett

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