Health care official used to lead IRS tax exempt office
May 16th, 2013
09:49 PM ET
1 year 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. bobo

    ObamaCare is a Train Wreck!

    May 17, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  2. Malory Archer

    From the article:

    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.

    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.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    In other words, she was no longer in the position when this so-called "scandal" took place. Talk about a non-story!

    May 17, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  3. Wilson

    @jonathan

    An objective question for al you Republicans, if a group called "Ultra Liberal Super Pac for Free Abortions" filed for tax exempt status, would you have an issue with the IRS singling them out for further scrutiny based on their name?
    -----------
    What people like you seem to be missing is that the IRS was singling out only one political affiliation. If they had been auditing both sides equally, there wouild not be near the uproar.

    May 17, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  4. Chutzpah

    “Stunning, just stunning," was all Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

    What's stunning is this guy's shamefaced political posturing. What's the story here? Years ago someone said hello in the hallway to someone else who's now in the news. No – wait – two people contracted with the same gardening service in the 1990s...

    That is really stunning.

    May 17, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  5. drb

    The Tea Party is a train Wreck.....a lot of filthy rich conservatives get audited ..cry me a river!

    May 17, 2013 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  6. FLIndependent

    @Centex – "annieL – you forget that the "will of the people" also includes the people who voted in a Republican majority in the House. Our government was set up like that for a reason. The elected president doesn't get supreme rule! Were you writing this same stuff to justify Bush's actions when the "will of the people" was him being in office?"
    _________________________
    You're missing two very important facts: 1) The Repubs maintained the House due to gerrymandering, not because they got more votes 2) Bush was never duly elected – first time selected by the Conservative Supreme Court and the second time by being delivered Ohio from the Repub overseeing the voting results. At any rate, what purpose does voting serve if the majority doesn't have the mandate?

    May 17, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  7. Brud1

    Funny how health care is so very important for members of congress, but is the worst thing possible for their constituents. It would be nice to see the House vote to reject their own healthcare benefits, just to be consistent. Otherwise, some would think they are simply lying about it being so bad. Ya think?

    May 17, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  8. Chutzpah

    Frankly, I don't see what the IRS problem is anyway. You lie to the IRS, you get audited...

    When suddenly thousands of new """charity""" groups spring up, whose real purpose is obviously to interfere in the election process, that sends up red flags. They deserved to be investigated. Liars.

    May 17, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  9. Malory Archer

    CentexeL – you forget that the the republican majority in the House is only due to gerrymandering of small districts, and the Dem Congressional candidates actually got 1.5 million MORE votes than their rethug counterparts. HOWEVER, because of gerrymandering in states with rethug governors they were crammed into two or three large districts while the rethugs carved out uncontestable districts for themselves. Our government WASN'T set up like that, and there is absolulely no reason for it except for the fact the rethugs know they could never win in fairly-drawn congressional districts, yet they behave like they have supreme rule. And since you brought it up, the previous occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue was installed by a supreme court decision that went AGAINST the "will of the people", and yet your ilk felt that he was completely justified in his actions.

    May 17, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  10. Polequates

    This is a Republican side show just like the way President Obama Stated. A Side show..

    May 17, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  11. Peoples State of Illinois

    @larry bud

    this poor country may never recover from this obama debacle....i hope the morons that voted for this clown have begun to wake up.....but i doubt it!
    --------–
    Of course they won't wake up, as long as they keep getting their free stuff. This country can survive an obama presidency. However, it will have great difficult surviving the obam voters.

    May 17, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  12. scarf

    @jonathan

    An objective question for al you Republicans, if a group called "Ultra Liberal Super Pac for Free Abortions" filed for tax exempt status, would you have an issue with the IRS singling them out for further scrutiny based on their name?
    ---–
    What people like you seem to be missing is that the IRS was singling out only one political affiliation. If they had been auditing both sides equally, there wouild not be near the uproar.

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

    Actually, the Inspector General's report makes clear that almost 3/4 of the groups reviewed were NOT Tea Party groups, so the IRS wasn't looking for somebody to go after. They were just too lazy to develop meaningful, legitimate audit criteria, so they chose to scrutinize code words like "Tea Party" and "Patriot." I suspect if there had been a huge number of applications for tax-exempt status with the word "Occupy" in their names, the IRS would have been just as lazy and inappropriate with those applications.

    May 17, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  13. Malory Archer

    Wilson

    What people like you seem to be missing is that the IRS was singling out only one political affiliation. If they had been auditing both sides equally, there wouild not be near the uproar.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    "You people"? That being said, your comment proves you really aren't paying attention. They were "targeting" both sides of the aisle, and while ALL right wing groups were approved, three "liberal" groups were denied.

    May 17, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  14. The Real Tom Paine

    -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?

    ***********
    For 2 employees in 1 office in a division that was understaffed? Where is the spideweb of intrigue that you are implying? Do you see the President personally signing off on this? Where is that proof? You are hoping and praying there is, but where is the proof of that?

    May 17, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  15. Chutzpah

    All I have left to say at this point is that it's a good thing this country doesn't face any REAL challenges, cause it looks like the game plan for Obama's s second term is going to be pretty much a repeat of the second Bill Clinton term, with Republicans inventing one "scandal" after another in the hopes of preventing him from accomplishing anything at all.

    Since, in my opinion, we DO face major difficulties ahead – much more so than in the late '90s, in fact – this strategy amounts to treason, no more, no less.

    May 17, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  16. HJA

    @Wilson
    "What people like you seem to be missing is that the IRS was singling out only one political affiliation. If they had been auditing both sides equally, there would not be near the uproar."

    I saw on the TV news out of just over 300 questioned groups 75 had TP or Patriot or other "Conservative" titles. Not all were "conservative". 75 is not even a majority.

    May 17, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  17. The Real Tom Paine

    -ratherbboating

    Real Tom Paine, how much more proof do you need? A signed and notarized statement from Obama?
    **********************
    Where is the connection between the Oval office and these individuals in the IRS offices? Please don't bother answering that, since I doubt these individuals were personally directed by the White Hosue to do this. If you believe it, fine: take your meds.

    May 17, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  18. Wilson

    @Malory Archer

    Wilson

    What people like you seem to be missing is that the IRS was singling out only one political affiliation. If they had been auditing both sides equally, there wouild not be near the uproar.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    "You people"? That being said, your comment proves you really aren't paying attention. They were "targeting" both sides of the aisle, and while ALL right wing groups were approved, three "liberal" groups were denied.
    -----------
    Careful Malory, don't try to put a meaning to my post that wasn't there. "people like you," in most cases has a different connotation than "you people." My comment was about people making similar statements, nothing else.

    May 17, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  19. Ol' Yeller

    When the name of your 'Social Welfare Group' is 'Tea Party Patriots for the Overturn of Obamacare and the Impeachment and Castration of the President', a little scrutiny might be in order.

    May 17, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  20. aspblom

    Many Americans of different political persuasions are upset by the Nixonian IRS scandal, not just Republicans.

    May 17, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  21. Malory Archer

    Wilson

    Careful Malory, don't try to put a meaning to my post that wasn't there. "people like you," in most cases has a different connotation than "you people." My comment was about people making similar statements, nothing else.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Really? I had no idea the phrase had different connotations. The people making similar statements are making TRUE statements. Why is that such a problem for "people like you"? Interesting how you failed to acknowledge my comment that liberals were targeted as well, and they were the ones that had their claims denied. Your silence implies that you're either grossly ill-informed and don't want to believe facts, or you believe that it's okay to target those with different ideologies.

    May 17, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  22. Malory Archer

    aspblom

    Many Americans of different political persuasions are upset by the Nixonian IRS scandal, not just Republicans.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Yeah, including the liberal groups that were denied tax exempt status. Funny how the "librul" media fails to mention them.

    May 17, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  23. Fair is Fair

    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.
    -----
    Absolute proof would require an investigation by an independent prosecutor, then an indictment, then a trial. If the oversight committee asks for that, the left will have conniption fits en masse. Surely you agree?

    May 17, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  24. Thomas

    The do nothing Congress let this happen people .

    They decide what is a non profit for profit , since most of them are on the gravy train .

    May 17, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  25. Malory Archer

    So we already know this person likely broke the law – and we're going to let her run health care?

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    In other words, the person who wrote the above sentence didn't read the article or they would know that Sandra Hall Ingram left the job in 2009 – TWO YEARS BEFORE this so-called "scandal" transpired. Obviously they aren't among the polling respondents who said they were following these so-called "scandals" closely.

    May 17, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
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