Democrats are using the Inspector General Report to renew calls for the Medicare chief’s impeachment
Verma contested the report, calling his findings “unfair” and claiming that auditors chose the examples in the response.
In a joint release, the chairmen of the House Oversight and Energy and Commerce committees and the top Democrats in the Senate HELP and Finance committees said that the Inspector General’s report showed Verma was improperly spending the taxpayer. They also warned that their one-year study – using “tens of thousands of pages of documents” from contractors and the health department – would contain more information about Verma’s expenses and decisions.
“Administrator Verma’s blatant refusal to acknowledge the IG’s findings or take steps to resolve the problem raises concerns about her ability to continue running the agency during the current health crisis,” said Frank Pallone (DN. J.) and Carolyn Maloney. (DN.Y.) and Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) And Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) Said in a joint statement. “We are now finalizing our investigation and will release our findings shortly, which will build on the Inspector General’s report and provide additional details on the improper use by private equity manager Verma for her personal benefit.”
Eight other Democrats explicitly called on Thursday to “ remove administrator Verma from her post without delay, ” in a letter led by Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.) And accompanied by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), Who chairs the House’s subcommittee overseeing the health department’s finances.
“Verma has grossly misused CMS funding, has reliably prioritized herself over the American people, and it is now clear she lied under oath,” Democrats wrote Thursday in a letter to Trump. Interviewed by Kennedy, Verma testified at a October 2019 congressional hearing that the contracts were “consistent with how the agency has used resources in the past and that they are aimed at promoting the work.”
“For someone who claims to want to cut CMS spending, including curbing fraud and abuse, Verma has paid an excessive amount of taxpayer money for personal use, all to the detriment of CMS beneficiaries and the public,” Democrats said. .
HHS spokesman Michael Caputo rejected the report on Thursday, telling POLITICO that the department had no intention of taking disciplinary action in response to the Inspector General’s findings.
“What we see in that letter are bureaucratic technical recommendations … but there is no criminal advice in this report,” said Caputo. “Training, okay … but as you know, absolutely no punishment is recommended.”