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Energy and Commerce Leaders Probe HHS on Health Care Slush Funds


Location: Washington, DC

he House Energy and Commerce Committee today sent a pair of letters to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius seeking information about how the agency has spent taxpayer dollars provided in the stimulus and under last year's controversial health care law. The inquiries, sent by Full Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns (R-FL), and Health Subcommittee Chairman Joseph Pitts (R-PA), seek information on the agency's use of a new $1 billion Health Insurance Reform Implementation Fund (HIRI) as well as its use of $400 million allocated by the 2009 stimulus package for comparative effectiveness research.

"The congressional spending spree of the last two years has left a vacuum of information about how taxpayer dollars are being spent. Particularly when it comes to health care, we've seen the creation of veritable government slush funds with no accountability or transparency," said Upton, Stearns and Pitts. "Whether it is exploring comparative effectiveness research under a law that was supposed to be about job creation or spending $1 billion to implement a controversial government takeover of health care, it's time to shine a light on how agencies are allocating scarce resources and what it means for our health care system."

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