Health care official used to lead IRS tax exempt office
May 16th, 2013
09:49 PM ET
11 months ago

Health care official used to lead IRS tax exempt office

(CNN) – Republicans using the Internal Revenue Service scandal to slam health care reform have a new twist in their argument.

Sarah Hall Ingram, who heads the implementation of the Affordable Care Act at the IRS, formerly led the agency's tax exempt/government entities division, the same division that's now taking heat for targeting conservative groups in the past few years.

An IRS spokesperson confirmed Ingram is the current director of the Affordable Care Act office, a department she’s worked in since December 2010. Meanwhile, a 2009 posting on the IRS website referred to her as the commissioner for the tax exempt/government entities division.

The IRS admitted last week it began over-scrutinizing conservative groups in 2010.

Joseph Grant, her successor, began acting as division commissioner in December 2010, the IRS spokesperson said, and earlier this month he was officially named commissioner.

Earlier Thursday, he became the second IRS official this week to announce his resignation. Grant plans to retire June 3, according to an internal memo for IRS employees that was obtained by CNN.

Before directing the tax exempt division in 2009, Ingram served as chief of appeals at the IRS for three years and as counsel/associate chief counsel for the tax exempt division. She started at the agency in 1982.

The Republican-led House of Representatives passed a measure to repeal Obamacare entirely on Thursday for the third time.

But the latest scandal involving the IRS, one of the key agencies charged with enforcing the health care law, is adding fuel to the political fire over the controversial law.

And Congressional Republicans are already citing the new development about Ingram as another reason why health care needs to be rolled back.

Thursday's vote was the 37th time the House has attempted to eliminate all or parts of the law.

“Stunning, just stunning," was all Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had to say about the revelation Ingram previously led the tax exempt division.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, introduced a bill to "prohibit" the Treasury Department from enforcing the Affordable Care Act. The legislation, which has little chance of passing in the Democratic-led Senate, is titled "Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act of 2013."

The recent IRS scandal "raises pertinent questions about the agency's ability to implement and oversee" the health care law, according to the legislation.

– CNN’s Jessica Yellin, Deirdre Walsh, Dana Bash, Candy Crowley and Ashley Killough contributed to this report.


Filed under: Health care • IRS
soundoff (203 Responses)
  1. Get a job Hippies

    Really an obama person attacks conservatives and then gets promoted so she can do it again??? I am shocked shocked shocked. What next she doesn't have to pay her personal income taxes and is exempt from obamacare?????

    May 17, 2013 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  2. KLARGAR

    Yes Karl Roves super pac is a charitable organization, maybe some of these tea crap citizens united organizations need some scrutiny to ,make sure they meet the requirements for tax exempt status.

    May 17, 2013 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  3. tepeters

    Has anyone looked into the unusual coincidental convergence of the three stories; the IRS and AP story just as the GOP in congress choose to resurrect Benghazi. Who and under what circumstances did the two new stories come to light and the trail of how they came to light.

    May 17, 2013 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  4. rs1201

    I refuse to give my personal health information to all these criminals. Obamacare has to be repealed!

    May 17, 2013 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  5. Proctor

    It is utterly amazing to me how journalists want to portray this as a partisan issue, when it affects all of us. For the IRS to use its position to target others who are not in agreement is a form of Totalitarianism. The tables could turn and just as quickly go against a Democrat. This is not justice, or fairness, and should be heavily scrutinized and decried by all citizens. Anyone who has dealt with the IRS knows how infuriating it can be, and once you are targeted, there is no quick and easy solution. Corruption will not yield favorable results for citizens. It will only yield "results" for those currently in power, and all the rest will suffer. Examine history.

    May 17, 2013 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  6. independent

    What is really stunning, really stunning, is that Mitch McConnell is still an elected official
    .

    May 17, 2013 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  7. Randy Stewart

    The problem is that the Right is trying to tie every bump in the road to the AHA. They are a minority that is trying to take over our government by any means, because they do not have majority support from the American people. 20 years of manipulation has pulled the economy massively into the advantage of the Right, now they are using that to disenfranchise the American electorate.

    May 17, 2013 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  8. chet

    Some where along the time line, someone had to have put some pressure upon the agency to "carefully" look at all Tea party and other new right wing groups. It may have been just "office talk" or "office being one of the guys" stuff but someone started all this punish anyone against Obama and the political machine!
    Now for CNN!
    Lets get this up on the big billboard! Stop hiding headlines that affect our country on the back pages in little print.

    May 17, 2013 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  9. Dennis

    Sounds like Ingram was rewarded with a big promotion for her work in leading the tax exempt division.
    Very interesting.

    May 17, 2013 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  10. Al-NY,NY

    thirty-something tries not enough?? Keep trying GOP. It will not be done no matter what you think

    May 17, 2013 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  11. ok ok ok

    is there a difference between getting fired and 'resigning' in government? do these officials still get their 'benefits' if they resign versus getting fired?

    May 17, 2013 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  12. Charles

    This is classic in the real world if average American broke laws as these people have they would be fired and not get their benefits. These people are being allowed to retire and receive benefits they should lose like the average American worker where is the equality in this.

    May 17, 2013 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  13. Richard Long

    This is AWESOME! Obama is now armed to the teeth with the IRS as a political super-weapon. Not only does Obama have the power to mangle opponents with Tax Audits, he can now literally kill them. "What? You are affiliated with an opposing political party and want a lifesaving procedure? DENIED. You lose! BTW, the auditors are waiting for you in the next room".
    Go get them Barack! It's your turn to strike back and end them all.

    May 17, 2013 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  14. How Quickly We Forget

    I am not a fan of this administration or ObamaCare but to be honest, this is a stretch. This is like when the Democrats said Romney teased another kid while in high school...who cares. I am failing to see the connection of why or how she was involved with this IRS scandal. She left in 2010 and the issue began in 2010; to me it sounds like her successor is the person involved, not her.

    May 17, 2013 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  15. David DeForge

    And again. it'll be a WHOOOOOOLE lotta nothing.

    May 17, 2013 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  16. Andrew

    The real issue is that "dark money" is being funneled through "social welfare organizations" to rightwing political groups for political activities, but don't look under the "flap". The Congress has tasked the IRS with stopping this and given them no code or resources to do so. Rove knows that and has exploited it. Instead of following the tug of war, we need to look at what's going on behind this dustup.

    May 17, 2013 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  17. cantilever

    By analogy, since the electrical grid used to light the White House also feeds Rep. Boehner's office, perhaps the electricity, too, should be declared partisan and corrupt, and the Speaker can work with a private generator?

    May 17, 2013 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  18. Complete ignorance

    CNN please stop feeding into this manufactured scandal nonsense. Lately, it's like reading the National Enquirer with these sensationalized headlines and stories that provide little facts about the situation. Speculation & theories are not news.

    The economy has started to show concrete signs that it's recovering and these manufactured scandals are nothing more than deliberate distractions. Next!

    May 17, 2013 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  19. Jayjay

    "over-scrutinizing" . . . Orwellian

    May 17, 2013 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  20. scott

    I dont't think that Obamacare is the reason for the shrinking buget deficit, more like the sequester and as I recall was'nt it the republicans who we can thank for that?

    May 17, 2013 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  21. Twiz1

    So we fired the guy...who probably had nothing to do with the illegal activities in the IRS. We PROMOTED the woman who was actually responsible. Hmmm....I would hope someone rectifies this situation. Go rehire the fall guy, then fire the Sarah Hall Ingram woman and maybe even press charges. It sure sounds like what she did was against the law.

    May 17, 2013 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  22. Fladabosco

    I am a pretty liberal guy and I hate the GOP. But everybody who was involved in this or knew about it and did nothing to stop it should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for their abuse of power. For me it has nothing to do with politics, it has to do with right and wrong and this is wrong.

    May 17, 2013 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  23. don

    if you are blind enough to believe that obamacare hasn't already caused big problems with the cost and effectiveness of health care then I suggest you speak to some that work at hospitals or go to your state capitols and see the effect first hand. hospitals are lobbing in big ways for more state money because they are loosing money fast. my wife, who works at the corporate office of a major hospital group may be in line to be laid-off because of theses effects. if this administration cant tell us the truth regarding an attack thousands of miles away then you'd have to be a fool to believe they will regarding the effects of obamacare.

    May 17, 2013 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  24. Data Driven

    I would agree that Sarah Hall Ingram should not head up the ACA division at IRS, given her prior role in the tax-exempt status division. Of course, no crimes have been PROVEN to have been committed yet, but, politically, the optics are awful. IRS needs to pick someone else. Now. By the way, I don't think this is an Administration appointment anyway, but instead an internal promotion. I'll happily stand corrected. Conservatives, I would suggest refraining from caterwauling until that important fact is determined. Of course, it would be nice if CNN could actually include such information in the article, rather than sending everyone on a byzantine google hunt.

    Meanwhile, is anything known about the Cornyn bill? If not Treasury, then whom? The CIA? The Post Office? Wow, what a stupid bill.

    May 17, 2013 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  25. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Thursday's vote was the 37th time the House has attempted to eliminate all or parts of the law..."

    This statement in itself proves the GOP are absolutely worthless at getting ANYTHING done, and also that there are a handful of folks who the GOP is absolutely making fools out of ... including themselves, their donors, and their base.

    May 17, 2013 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
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