Health care official used to lead IRS tax exempt office
May 16th, 2013
09:49 PM ET
9 years 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. Thomas

    With all the posting here by the payed conservative non profit action comities .You can see why the big corrupt insurance companies are trying hard to overturn the heath care act.

    After reading some of the posts here from the right , makes me think of the movie Deliverance .

    Also why do so many so called conservative post here on CNN , unless they are being paid , you would think they would be posting they fear coated drool on Fox .

    May 17, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  2. SGG

    Hahaha...and the hits just keep coming. Even MSNBC is having a hard time defending the President now. Just goes to show....when you Lean end up bending over.

    May 17, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  3. Jeetu

    Republicans will be well advised to handle the business of the country. They do not seem to have the time to pass a budget for the FY 2014 and to pass the immigration reform act, but they have the time and resouces for the witchhunt for the issues that don't produce any poistive results for the American people. Granted that what was done at IRS is wrong, then let us fix it so that it does not happen again, but continue the work of the Congress needed to move the country forward. Republicans may be better to take their 2014 election campaigns out of these discussions. Also, they should remember that many of the folks who did all this were Bush appointees.

    If the congress cannot handle the nation's business, then they should resign and go home. Don't waste our resources on witchhunt and nonproductive work.

    May 17, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  4. Curious

    One thing that seems to be absent in the discussion is: Maybe there was a reason that more conservative groups than liberal groups were singled out. Last I heard, it is conservatives that are more likely to pull their hair out over taxation than liberals so possibly...and I say just possibly...that "targeting" is a poor choice of words and "statistical sampling" might be more appropriate. The public does not have sufficient data to draw this distinction and I suspect that our elected officials of conservative stripe could care less. That seeming lack of critical analysis of the data will not slow our conservative friends from posturing in front of a camera.

    May 17, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  5. Thomas

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


    Thats because 1/3 of the posts here are from paid non profit for profit action comities , organizations that were making billions on health care ..
    And some are the same person posting 3 or 4 times.

    May 17, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  6. 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?

    May 17, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  7. jonathan

    I hope the Democrats are taking notes just in case a Republican is ever in the White House again. Let's hope we can stay in this state of lunacy forever.

    May 17, 2013 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  8. Nukemifugotem

    To answer Speaker Boehners question: Sarah Hall Ingram is or should be going to jail.

    May 17, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  9. Herbie Handcock

    I hope the republicans are happy with their congressmen; spending all of there their time trying to repeal an act which holds a high approval rating, and WON'T be repealed by the debate. And WOULDN'T survive a veto if it did. Keep wasting that time republicans. Between that and the Benghazi witch hunt, you have done soooo much for the country.

    May 17, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  10. Michael

    So basically some IRS staff started overscrutinizing tax exempt status for Tea Party group after an official left the IRS left to work on healthcare. Repeat, the healthcare official left the IRS and after she left this problem began. So that means there is not connection between healthcare and the IRS related to this issue. So this means there is no story hear. So this means there is no conspiracy here. So this means once again Republicans, whose clock has been cleaned now twice by Obama, are grasping desperately again at a way to attack the Affordable Healthcare Act. I'm sure conservatives who opposed it already won't change their opinion, but this BS isn't going to work with anyone else.

    May 17, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  11. CW in St. Paul

    Until you find actual quid pro quo, this just reads as gossip.

    May 17, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  12. WakeUpUSA

    The ever gullible liberals keep droning on that the IRS is NOTHING to do with Healthcare and is NOT under orders from Obama.............................
    In the last 3 weeks TWO things happened:
    Obama had a meeting with Planned Parenthood and promised to fight WITH them against Pro-lifers.............Right after that the IRS warned Pro-life groups in 2 States to STOP allowing their members to hold silent protests outside PP abortion clinics and to STOP allowing their members to speak out against abortions by PP..........or ELSE?

    Even a dull, half-witted liberal should be able to see a connection here!

    May 17, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  13. suppackman

    Wow, Thomas, what color is the sky in your world? It looks like rain today, so don't forget to put on your tin foil lined rain hat.

    May 17, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  14. 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!

    May 17, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  15. 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?

    May 17, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  16. scarf

    I just got done reading the Inspector General's report on the inappropriate scrutiny of the IRS of Tea Party groups. If you haven't read it, I heartily recommend it. It seems that the Tea Party groups weren't really targeted. They were profiled, just as a cop stopping a black man for a patdown for no other reason than that he was black, or a man wearing a turban being patted down by airport security for no other reason than he was wearing a turban. The Tea Party groups were profiled because of certain code words in their names. Certainly inappropriate. Definitely should not be done. But, it hardly reaches the level of criminal activity. More like stupidity in the ranks and lazy/distant management. Remember the IRS Commissioner when this all started was a Bush appointee. It was then continued under an Obama appointee. These Commissioners weren't watching what their underlings were doing, and now we have a "scandal."

    May 17, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  17. Bill Zimmerman

    "New" Twist is old news and not as important as CNN an Michele would have me believe.

    May 17, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  18. Jack Rivera

    They will have to pry my existing health care insurance out of my cold dead hands. The IRS was made to collect and report taxes. That is all it was supposed to do, now the IRS is going to dig into everyone's medical records and private health to determine whether we owe money. This is wrong and will result in total, absolute chaos. like Baucus said.

    May 17, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  19. Anonymous

    @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."
    Couldn't agree more. The so-called "Patriots" and "Country First" people obviously HATE our democracy that are so willing to "spread" to other countries by invading them!!

    May 17, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |

    They act like they didn't know about this....what a crock of crap. The republicans have never worked with this administration to better the nation and now, they are finding anything they can to cause trouble. This is the worse congress ever.

    May 17, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  21. MedullaPancreas

    Abolish the Federal Reserve and it's attack dog the IRS.

    May 17, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  22. Jaimie

    Why is this not the top news story? This is a joke and they will try to "pad" the actions taken against their own.

    May 17, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  23. What Now

    Oh look, another shiny object to keep Congress from dealing with the real issues. What luck, now they don't have to make any controversial decisions.

    May 17, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  24. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Thats because 1/3 of the posts here are from paid non profit for profit action comities , organizations that were making billions on health care ..
    And some are the same person posting 3 or 4 times."

    They are so very obvious, aren't they? Both the lobbyists AND the multi-namers.

    May 17, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  25. Ol' Yeller

    Wouldn't this whole thing be the equivilant of wanting to fire the Police Commisioner because one of the beat cops turned out to have made rascist statements? No laws actually broken, just bad form.
    How about we hold the ne'er do wells accountable and not tear down the house because there is a rip in the dining room wallpaper!
    You righties want every little news story to turn into an impeachment trial... (except when the President has an R beside his name, then it is crickets on some fairly serious stuff).

    May 17, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
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