Washington D.C. – Cause of Action Institute (CoA Institute) today sent a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and requested two separate Inspector General (IG) investigations after details emerged about the federal government using confidential taxpayer information to market ObamaCare to individuals who have opted out of the program.

CoA Institute Assistant Vice President Henry Kerner: “Information obtained from tax returns should not be used to sell health insurance. The federal government is obligated to protect the confidentiality of tax returns. Instead, the Obama administration appears to be mining Americans’ tax returns to advertise and sell ObamaCare to people who don’t want it.”

A fact sheet released by CMS titled “Strengthening the Marketplace by Covering Young Adults” highlights CMS’s plan to boost ObamaCare enrollment by using taxpayer information. According to the fact sheet, “[f]or the first time this fall, we will conduct outreach to individuals and families who paid the fee for being uninsured, or claimed an exemption from that fee, for 2015.”  The law allows for personal tax information to be used only for the limited purpose of determining ObamaCare subsidy eligibility. It does not, however, permit CMS to market subsidies to taxpayers who have already rejected ObamaCare.

The potential disclosure of protected taxpayer information by the IRS raises concerns about whether the information is being appropriately safeguarded. To that end, CoA Institute sent requests for investigation to the Inspectors General of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS).

In its FOIA request, CoA Institute requested all records related to the use of taxpayer information by CMS to contact individuals who paid the penalty for being uninsured in 2015, as well as all records relating to the June 2016 CMS report on how to enroll more young adults.

The FOIA to CMS is available HERE

The HHS IG request for investigation is available HERE

The DOJ IG request for investigation is available HERE