House Republicans sent new details to the Internal Revenue Service (PDF) as part of an ongoing challenge to the AARP's not-for-profit tax status, following the group's leading role in pushing for enactment of the 2010 federal healthcare overhaul.
GOP lawmakers press AARP tax-status challenge
The latest allegations from Rep. Wally Herger (R-Calif.), chairman of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, and other Republicans include the charge that the older Americans' advocacy group is not simply endorsing health insurance products but is improperly involved in the management of those plans. Specifically, congressional Republicans' investigators reviewed newly available and ongoing contracts between the not-for-profit group and UnitedHealth Group and concluded AARP was not simply lending its name to plans in exchange for royalty fees but has an “active role in directing the decisions of the insurer.”
The contracts “suggest a pattern of business partnerships and activities that permit AARP to engage in for-profit businesses under the cover of its tax-exempt status,” they wrote.
The letter is the latest development in the issue since House Republicans asked the IRS in April to review whether the AARP should continue to hold tax-exempt status. The tax status challenge stems from Republicans' belief that the nonpartisan seniors' organization advocated for enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act because it is functionally a liberal political action group that will financially profit from the law.
An AARP spokesman did not respond to a request to comment on the latest letter by deadline.
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.