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Chairmen Royce, Camp Seek Answers from IRS on Foreign Diplomats Receiving Taxpayer Funded Benefits

October 29, 2014

Washington, DC – Today, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) wrote to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen seeking information after learning that foreign diplomats working in the United States are eligible for subsidized health coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Specifically, the letter asks how many have enrolled in ACA and the total cost of all subsidies given to foreign diplomats.   

In a letter to IRS Commission Koskinen, Chairmen Royce and Camp wrote: Many Americans would be surprised to learn that their tax dollars may be subsidizing health coverage for foreign diplomats.  The Committees on Foreign Affairs and Ways and Means are investigating the extent to which these diplomats receive taxpayer-subsidized premium tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.  We are seeking to determine how many such individuals participate in these programs and the total cost of such benefits. … We fully support the ability of foreign diplomats to purchase health care coverage in the United States.  We do not, however, believe that American taxpayers should subsidize these services.”

NOTE: Today’s letter follows repeated requests from the Foreign Affairs Committee for additional information about foreign diplomats’ access to subsidized healthcare.  After the arrest of 25 Russian diplomats for attempting to illegally obtain Medicaid benefits in December of 2013, the Committee sent a letter to Secretary Kerry requesting information on the arrest and the eligibility of foreign diplomats receiving government-funded medical benefits.  In January and April, the Committee also sent letters to the Secretary of Health and Human Services regarding foreign diplomats’ eligibility to receive Obamacare.  In a response on September 30, HHS confirmed foreign diplomats’ eligibility for government subsidized healthcare.

The signed letter and referenced attachments are available here.