A new law introduced in Congress seeks to prevent foreign diplomats and employees of the United Nations from receiving taxpayer-funded Obamacare subsidies. The bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives by Republicans Ed Royce and Paul Ryan.
"U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, introduced H.R. 1368, the No Healthcare Subsidies for Foreign Diplomats Act of 2015, legislation to prevent foreign diplomats from receiving subsidized health coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). According to the Department of Health and Human Services, foreign diplomats and United Nations employees in the United States are currently eligible to obtain American taxpayer-funded subsidies under the ACA, such as premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions, just like American citizens and lawful permanent residents. By contrast, U.S. diplomats overseas do not depend on foreign taxpayers for health care coverage, relying instead on domestic health insurance plans that provide overseas coverage," reads a press release from Royce's office.
· Expresses the sense of Congress that foreign diplomats should be allowed to purchase health insurance coverage in the U.S., but the cost of that coverage should be borne by their sending States;
· Expresses the sense of Congress that U.S. taxpayers should not subsidize the health insurance expenses of foreign diplomats;
· Amends the Internal Revenue Code to make foreign diplomats ineligible for health insurance premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions under the ACA;
· Requires the Secretary of HHS to certify to Congress that no foreign diplomats are receiving such benefits under the ACA; and
· Requires the Secretary of State to notify all foreign missions in the U.S. that their personnel are ineligible for these benefits under the ACA.
Royce says in a statement, "After a year-long investigation, the Obama Administration finally came clean about the fact that foreign diplomats are eligible for taxpayer-funded health care subsidies. This is unacceptable. Americans’ tax dollars should not be used to foot the bill for foreign diplomats’ health care coverage. I am pleased to reintroduce this legislation and look forward to working with Chairman Ryan to pass this commonsense reform."
Ryan's statement reads, “American taxpayers should not pick up the tab for foreigners on Obamacare. This bill will help protect tax dollars, and I want to thank Chairman Royce for his work on this issue.”