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. The Real Tom Paine

    -PAT F

    @Data Driven: Nice try. But you notice it was only conservative organizations that were targeted. Or are you so naive as to think that liberal organizations did not form the same groups? Bottom line: IRS was enforcing a White House enemies list to help Obama win reelection.
    ******************
    Accusations require proof, which you don't have. What you have is the paranoid reactions that have become so common amongst the Right.

    May 17, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  2. The Real Tom Paine

    -Nick

    So we already know this person likely broke the law – and we're going to let her run health care? This administration's less-than-firm grasp of reality is frightening. Obama might as well be replaced with a cardboard stick figure – he doesn't know what his people are doing and is "shocked" when he gets ambushed by the media.
    ************
    Where is the absolute roof that this individual broke the law? Connect the dots for the people investigating it, since you have already figured everything out. Again, assumptions and wishful thinking by the professional victims on the Right.

    May 17, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  3. kmac

    I was aduited in that period and took several months to line it out. And I am a yellow dog. Simple 10-40 form. Had to be political motivation.

    May 17, 2013 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  4. annieL

    So now we see why the Republicans REALLY went after the IRS. Another way to subvert the will of the people who elected Barack Obama and Democrats to Congress and sabotage a law duly passed by that same Congress and president we elected. This is the REAL scandal. That when a majority of American voters speak, Republicans will do everything in their power to make sure the voters' will and their citizen power at the ballot box does not prevail. Republicans do not believe in democracy or rule by the majority. Plain and simple. That they have subverted and sabotaged and blocked everything this president and Democrats in Congress have done or tried to do to represent the voters who elected them is the real scandal. They are robbing over half the American people of their votes and rendering voting meaningless. They are destroying democracy.

    May 17, 2013 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  5. Peoples State of Illinois

    @The Real Tom Paine

    -PAT F

    @Data Driven: Nice try. But you notice it was only conservative organizations that were targeted. Or are you so naive as to think that liberal organizations did not form the same groups? Bottom line: IRS was enforcing a White House enemies list to help Obama win reelection.
    ******************
    Accusations require proof, which you don't have. What you have is the paranoid reactions that have become so common amongst the Right.
    -----------
    How about their own admission as proof?

    May 17, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  6. ratherbboating

    Real Tom Paine, how much more proof do you need? A signed and notarized statement from Obama?

    May 17, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  7. james of the house

    God help us all, the crazy, Lilly-white, self-righteous, rich people want to take control of the ship again. Ground ahoy! get the life rafts ready.

    May 17, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  8. Vernon Holder

    Paul S NYNY,

    in regard to this being a 'whole lotta NOTHING', the President of the United States completely disagrees with you. Would you say he doesn't know what he's talking about?

    May 17, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  9. 1968B

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

    May 17, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  10. MalBGood

    Why am I not surprised that Republicans would take another non-issue and use their rhetoric to try to turn it into ammunition to be used against the American public while making it sound like they've got everyone's best interests at heart?

    Oh, right, because they've proven their inability to actually help legislate by going against the American public time after time in the last few years. The sheer number of fillibusters, this negligence shown by wasting time attempting to overturn the health care reform now for the 37th time, overtly working to undermine the President and anyone anywhere on the political spectrum who's attempting to get something done to improve this country...all this should be enough to get these people out of the government.

    The fact that people can act this way and still keep their job is what I'd consider 'stunning'.

    May 17, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  11. scarf

    1968B

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

    ================================================================================

    Under the direction of an IRS Commissioner who was a Bush appointee. You think he was really taking orders from Obama?

    May 17, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  12. Wilbur

    This is the most pathetic excuse for an argument against Obamacare that I have ever seen. First of all, they have no proof that Ingram was even involved in the targeting of conservative groups. Second of all, nothing that is said here actually justifies dismantling Obamacare. It only scrutinizes the people running it which does nothing for the GOP's argument against the law itself. This is just idiotic attempt by the GOP to get rid of a law that is never going away. Even if the senate votes to repeal Obamacare, which they will never do, Obama will ultimately veto the law, OBVIOUSLY, and the Republicans don't have a veto-proof majority in the House or the Senate. STOP WASTING OUR TAX DOLLARS WITH THIS GARBAGE and actually focus on the real issues facing the country!

    May 17, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  13. jerryab

    These claims make no sense–unless you don't use any. Any group (left, right, wherever) can use the terms "tea party" or "Patriot" in their names–unless you want to state anybody using those terms can NOT BE a "Patriot" or would support the original Boston "Tea Party". Those on the left are patriotic, so they have just as much right to use the words/terms "patriot" or "Tea Party" in their group's name. So, concentrating on just the name would catch ALL who use the keyword(s)–regardless of where on the political spectrum they were located. Now, if the IRS was concentrating on the names of the people doing the submissions, that might be a problem. But, they are not. So this is nothing more than a silly Boehnerism (crying mightily over a nonsensical claim based on an imagined owie). Yes, they ARE 8 years old–mentally–when making this type of claim.

    May 17, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  14. SCBAMA

    Good try liberals. Comments are 2 to 1 for repeal of The ACA on this forum.

    May 17, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  15. b0bc@t

    Look out folks, it's yellowcake and WMD's all over again, but not in the Middle East, but coming to a community organization near (and possibly dear) to you! Lies and crimes are for ordinary folks, like prisons are .... Misstatements, rogue workers and unclear directives are the operating systems of the political and entertainment Elites! Just let it wash over you like good little minions and don't peer behind the curtain. It ain't pretty folks!

    May 17, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  16. tony

    She should probably resign if she was responsible back at the IRS. hen we can have somebody spotlessly clean come in and keep better health care moving forward without it getting the undeserved criticism.

    Linking health care to the scandal is the usual vile, anti the 9th commandment, crap the evangelicals come up with.

    May 17, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  17. PtBarnumBoy

    I'm staying inside for the near future because the sky is falling.

    May 17, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  18. Wilbur

    @ SCBAMA Yeah, because the comments made on this forum accurately represent the general opinions of the American people overall. lol

    May 17, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  19. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Before you right wingers go pointing fingers at the Obama administration, perhaps you should google "George W. Bush Administration Controversies" since your memories are so flawed. That is if you have the guts to do so. Don't try to judge the current administration by a different measuring stick cause it would be like the pot calling the kettle black!

    May 17, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  20. ghostriter

    ratherbboating

    "Real Tom Paine, how much more proof do you need? A signed and notarized statement from Obama?"

    Oh....I dunno....maybe some actually illegal? Something actually saying this was politically motivated.

    May 17, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  21. jonathan

    Can the IRS release a full list of the organizations that filed for tax-exempt status as well as the list of the organizations that were scrutinized? Let the evidence speak for itself rather than trying to feed us propaganda. My guess would be that there are more conservative groups to scrutinize because they are often more religious. There was a story yesterday about what's his face Graham's group being investigated when he filed for tax-exempt status. They were masking themselves as a church doing social welfare work, but they were taking out political newspaper ads, campaigning, etc. I don't care what your political affiliation is, if your primary goal is political, then you have no business gaining tax free status. Not only does that mean the american people are left with a higher portion of the tax burden, it means we have to put up with more propaganda. Let's just make it easy, eliminate tax free status for everyone but actual charities.

    May 17, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  22. Jim_Who?

    I'm done with this news source. This is something that should be at the top of the home page, yet CNN conveniently passes it off as an "interesting twist". Oh but they are spinning away for the glorious one. They are now going hunting for the terrorists, who at first weren't even terrorists. The attack in Benghazi was all about a short film. I'm sick and tired of the liberal way of thinking, and watching my rights vanish right before my very own eyes.

    May 17, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  23. just sayin

    news flash for the clueless irs commisioner!! when you use conservative names to target groups for audit you are defacto targeting based on politics. to deny it was based on politics is an insult to every american citizen.

    so exactly what left wing names were used to target groups for audit? why haven't we seen that list revealed? answer: it didn't exist.

    enough of the lies irs. you are starting to look like the rest of the obama administration.

    May 17, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  24. JamVee

    I'm glad the Left side of the aisle is screaming about this transgression too, because sooner or later there will be a Republican administration again, and the payback would be hell!

    May 17, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  25. No support

    Keep it up Republicans.. Keep spending all your time on the floor debating Obama Care.. go ahead and ignore the real problems with our country and just focus and that one thing. Liberals across the country will then make sure and post how many hours and wasted dollars you caused.

    May 17, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
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