Jump to content

AARP is selling out on Medicare

Rick Munroe

This topic is 6601 days old and is no longer open for new replies.  Replies are automatically disabled after two years of inactivity.  Please create a new topic instead of posting here.  

Recommended Posts

I just contacted AARP to let them know I will never join when I am eligible someday. I'd urge any of you who are members to quit and to let them know why. Here's the story from moveon.org:


"For years, Democratic lawmakers have been working to make sure that

seniors have access to prescription drugs and reasonable healthcare.

Now, in an attempt to score political points, the Republican

Congressional leadership is pushing through a bill that appears to

offer a solution. Actually, the bill undermines the entire Medicare

program, pushing people into the very HMOs which contribute heavily to Republican lawmakers and barring the government from negotiating for lower drug prices.


"Given the danger to seniors, one might expect that the millions-strong American Association of Retired People (AARP) to be on the case. But after huge contributions from pharmaceutical companies and HMOs, and pressure from Republican lawmakers, the AARP is selling out its membership and backing the bill.


"In response, 85 members of Congress (so far) have canceled their AARP

memberships, or announced that they will never join (if they're not

yet old enough to be eligible). [1] Today, we urge you to do the

same. If the AARP won't stand up for the elderly when it comes to

health care, what good is it? You can reach the AARP at:


National hotline: 1-800-424-3410


"If you're a member, tell them you're quitting.


"If you're too young to be eligible, tell them you'll never join.


"You also may want to let your Representative and Senators know that

you're keeping the AARP accountable. You could also tell them

that you expect them to demand real health care reform -- not this

industry-backed bill.


"The AARP has endorsed a bill that would make two fundamental changes

in Medicare:


1. First, it would force people to make a stark choice: either pay

sharply increased premiums to stay in traditional Medicare, where

they can choose their doctor; or be forced out, into an HMO.


Newt Gingrich, the former House Republican leader, said in 1995

that he wanted to let Medicare to "wither on the vine." This

change would lead to that result, with cost incentives driving

people out. (Not coincidentally, AARP CEO William Novelli

recently wrote the forward to Gingrich's book. [2])


2. Second, it offers a prescription drug benefit, but requires people

who want this coverage to buy it from private insurance plans.


This part of the bill also bars the government from doing the one

thing it could do to actually reduce the cost of these drugs --

negotiate for lower prices, using the size of the Medicare program

as leverage. Drug prices are soaring now, and unless they're

brought under control, they will eventually bankrupt Medicare.


AARP itself sells insurance and also sells prescription drugs, so

the group stands to reap huge financial gains from this change.


"The bill has been opposed by a host of liberal groups [3] as well as

by major conservative groups, including the Club for Growth, The

Heritage Foundation, the American Conservative Union, The Cato

Institute, and the National Taxpayers Union. It's also been assailed

by virtually every one of the Democratic presidential candidates. [4]


"In endorsing this bill, the AARP has broken faith with its members. In a recent poll, 65% of AARP members said they're opposed to it. [5]

The group has also violated its own written principles. In July, CEO

William Novelli wrote to Congress stating the requirements for AARP's

support of a Medicare bill. [6] Yet the bill AARP has just endorsed

fails to meet nine separate requirements stated in that letter. [7]


"We need to hold the AARP responsible for selling out its members. If

the organization sees sufficient backlash from its members and

prospective members, it could still change course and effect the

outcome of this legislation. Please call your local AARP branch




--Carrie, Eli, James, Joan, Noah, Peter, Wes, and Zack

The MoveOn.org Team

November 20th, 2003


[1] 85 Representatives wrote to Novelli, canceling their memberships:



[2] From the foreword by Novelli to Gingrich's new book, "Saving Lives

and Saving Dollars".


[3] See http://www.moveon.org/medicare.html for a complete list of



[4] See:



[5] Poll: a majority of AARP members oppose the Medicare bill:



[6] AARP July letter on minimum acceptable standards



[7] How AARP goes back on its word



[8] http://www.aarp.org/leadership/Articles/a2002-12-18-aarpfactsheet.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If AARP is selling insurance and prescription drugs, they are not doing it in the AARP I belong to. What they do is recommend people who offer an auxiliary insurance to that which is available through Medicare and which covers costs not paid for by Medicare. This insurance is not sold by AARP. It is made available to members of AARP at a reduced premium. The prescription drugs work the same way. They have companies that deal in lower cost prescription drugs. You can buy your drugs from these companies at the lower price because of your membership in AARP. AARP does not itself sell either of these two products. This is much the same as when you buy Sprint and you are a member of PBS. You get a lower price because of your membership.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Grow up. The Democrats would have opposed anything the Administration tried to do. Anything. It is totally partisan politica. Clinton was in the White House for 8 years and did nothing to help Medicare or achieve a Drug Benefit. The AARP is smart enough to know that they should take what Bush is able to get through Congress. At least he tried.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The conservative groups opposing this do not do so for the same reason that moveon.org does. They oppose the whole concept of socialized medicine in the first place.


As for the 65% of the AARP members opposing, is that the same idea as the union members who do not support the people the unions back and that the dems do? Sounds the same to me. In the case of the dems it is the union leaders leading the union to the best for the union. The same might be said for the AARP in this case.


In any case, moveon is not my idea of any organization I would believe wholeheartedly just as newsmax and buzzflash are not. They all have an agenda and it depends on if you follow their agenda. I do not follow moveon as anyone can tell so I would take this whole issue with about ten pounds of salt.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"moveon is not my idea of any organization I would believe wholeheartedly"


If you believed them half-heartedly, then you would be believing half of what they say?


AARP sold out a long time ago. They make $150 million dollars a year in insurance commisions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The statement was that AARP sells insurance. It does not sell insurance. It makes referrals to insurance companies just as most non-profit groups make referrals to companies that make special deals with them. That AARP gets a kickback on this is no surprise. What do you think all those credit card and telephone companies are doing for all the organizations that make referrals to them. Do you think your CPB or NPR Visa card does not get money for CPB or NPR?


Believe me when I tell you that the likelihood of my even believing half of what moveon pushes is extremely low.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...how about 10 pounds of saltpetre?



"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not any simpler. If we knew what we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?" Einstein


"The Universe is not only queerer than we imagine; it is queerer than we can imagine." J.B.S. Haldane


"If the idea is not at first absurd, then there is no hope for it." Einstein

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Create New...