Friday, November 20, 2009

AARP and I have parted ways!

Seniors, like this old coot, need real advocates in Washington to
protect them and represent them. AARP has failed at this!

The AARP and I have parted ways and good…
by Charlie Leck

This is my second break-up with the AARP and it’s my last ‘cause I ain’t ever goin’ back. You can take that to the bank!

A few years ago I dropped my AARP membership because of the stance they took on Medicare payments for prescription drugs, when they supported an asinine proposal by the Bush administration (the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003). Back then, it was referred to as Part D. The pharmaceutical companies reaped huge profits from the passage of this legislation and it has cost seniors an awful lot of money. AARP shocked and angered me when they came out in full support of this bill.
"According to advocates for universal single-payer coverage and others, passage of the 2003 law potentially marked the beginning of the end for publicly-financed Medicare and clouded the future of employer-provided coverage. AARP played a crucial role, much like today in the debate over health care reform. It's siding with free-market ideologues destroys its credibility as an advocate for seniors."
(Steve Lendman, AARP's Tradition of Betrayal)
For some reason, I renewed my membership a couple of years ago. Why? Probably because I am a dummy and I’m susceptible to the kind of propaganda AARP puts out to seniors.

I haven’t the slightest idea why. This is a nutty organization. Though they claim to be an advocacy group, they really aren’t. They are a terribly commercial endeavor operating in the clothing of a non-profit.

Here are some things you may not know about AARP.

From its beginning it has sold insurance to its members to earn royalties. Keep that in mind as we go on. “Insurance” is the key and operational word to remember.

AARP is probably the most powerful advocacy organization in America with an abundance of funds with which to work. The organization is headquartered in the nation’s capitol and operates out of a 10 story, 500,000 square foot building. Within that building, AARP employs a staff of more than 2400. It’s annual revenues exceed a billion dollars (60 percent of which comes from Medigap supplemental insurance sales).

An organization of physicians, which supports a national health care program (PNHP), is not very complimentary about AARP’s supplemental insurance coverage. “Some of these programs are total rip-offs.” PNHP also contends that AARP is “part of the problem and not part of the solution.”

If any of you seniors out there are waiting for AARP to take on some of the big national health insurance companies, you have a very long wait. What is it they say? "When we can play golf 365 days a year in Minnesota!" Hell will freeze over first!

AARP is now solidly part of the industry and not a watch-dog over it. AARP offers its members 17 different types of insurance and brings in hundreds of millions of dollars in profits from those insurance companies. This is important: AARP is a part of the insurance industry -- the industry that is so opposed to a public option in the new health care plan.

Add in its annual membership fees and you can easily picture a major corporation taking in incredible sums of money.

Do I want to keep my membership in such an organization in order to get an occasional discount on hotel/motel rates or on an infrequent dinner (before 6 P.M., please) at crummy chain restaurants?

AARP puts on a costume that makes it appear it supports national health care reform while, in fact, it works for the weakest possible legislation -- something that will allow it to claim we've had health care reform while the insurance industry and the drug companies suffer the least possible hit and seniors get no cost relief. AARP is not the nation's leading advocate for seniors; it is thoroughly in bed with those who are currently reaping mind-boggling profits from America's seniors and America's ill.

Seniors in the U.S. are ripe and ready for a real senior advocacy group. If someone puts a real one together right now, seniors would flock to it. Like I, seniors are leaving AARP in droves.

I know one thing: I'm flipping the bird at AARP and I will never again renew my membership in this rip-off organization.

No comments:

Post a Comment