Republicans renew attack on AARP

House Republicans are asking the IRS to take a closer look at AARP's tax-exempt status.

Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee have criticized AARP's contracts with private insurance companies, which pay AARP a royalty in return for an endorsement from the seniors' organization. Those contracts make up a growing share of AARP's revenue.

Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee said in a letter to the IRS on Thursday that the results of their investigation "suggest a pattern of business relationships and activities that permit AARP to engage in for-profit business under the cover of its tax-exempt status."

The letter cites AARP's relationship with United Healthcare, an insurer that licenses the AARP name for some of its supplemental Medicare policies. The lawmakers said AARP has considerable authority over the structure of the plans it endorses.

AARP reviews changes that United wants to make to its plans, such as premium rates, and must sign off any changes in how the plans are marketed, according to the GOP letter.

"These contracts suggest that AARP's relationship with United is much more than an agreement to license the AARP name," the Republicans wrote. "AARP has extensive decision making authority and is deeply involved in United's business operations."