Why has the AARP sold out its members on Healthcare?
I wondered why the self declared non-partisan group AARP would support a government run healthcare system, so I did some investigation, and found the answer glaringly simple. MONEY! It’s the main driving force of any business, and AARP is no exception.
I assumed they made most of their money from memberships, a glance at the 2008 AARP financial statement, changed my mind on that! The group received nearly $653 million in royalties from private insurance companies that sold products referred by AARP in 2008, while taking in $249 million in membership dues. Wondering what products they are getting commissions on I dove in a little deeper.
Seniors have basically two choices for Medicare supplemental insurance, the first one is a government run supplement called “Medicare Advantage,” the second one is called “Medigap” insurance and is sold by private insurance companies. This medigap is what the AARP endorses, and gets royalties on. Section 1161 of the House bill would slash payments to Medicare Advantage health plans used by 20 percent of seniors and cause them to lose some benefits, including vision and dental coverage, thus forcing them into the private insurance supplements such as AARP offers.
AARP is a non-profit 501 (c)(4) organization which doesn’t allow them to take money from the government, but alas they have figured a way around all that. AARP FOUNDATION is a separate and distinct organization, they are housed in the same building as AARP, have a completely separate Board of Directors, but they have one major distinction, they are listed as a 501 (c)(3) organization that not only CAN take government money, they actively sought out federal grants. The Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Labor, were all sources of the second largest income of the $90 million 2008 income.
The AARP FOUNDATION can engage in fundraising activities to advance its particular public policy agenda. However, the foundation works so closely with AARP that the two entities are barely indistinguishable. Is this combination of organizations reminiscent of another group?
House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, blasted AARP in an interview with the Hill just days ago."AARP is one of the most liberal organizations in Washington, D.C.," Boehner said. "Obviously, most seniors aren't aware of that."
As Paul Harvey used to say……….now you know the rest of the story!
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