Recently I received an e-mail containing a letter supposedly sent to AARP (American Association of Retired Persons). The letter was scathing in its remarks and it pointed out many areas where that organization didn’t support the views of its membership. This is important because it is considered one of the most powerful lobbying groups in Washington supposedly representing the people over 55 years of age.
This is a huge number of people and most of them vote so any organization that truly represents that group must be listened to. Researching AARP’s position was not too difficult as they have a very large web presence and their snail mail solicitations come often. Looking at their regular mail it does seem like they are in the insurance business as opposed to the representation of people over 55 years of age. In the mail I have received from them, I didn’t see anything that interested me. Nevertheless, it was a nice push for insurance.
Delving deeper into their web site doesn’t reveal much but they have a reputation as a very liberal organization. They indicate that they speak out for our rights but reviewing their position on issues I didn’t see much I agree with. I must admit I was a long-standing member but dropped my membership a few years ago. We took advantage of AARP’s discount programs but soon became disillusioned by the originations support for Obama Care and the corresponding cuts to Medicare. The cuts were made to help pay for Obama Care, but they result in cutting care for seniors in exchange for cheaper insurance to attract more younger people.
Why would AARP support Medicare cuts? Why would they oppose something that helps older folks on Medicare pay for health care? Money of course, by opposing changes that would help close the Medicare gap they increased their insurance business profits. Sen. Jim DeMint (R., S.C.), produced a report that said it’s because those very same Medicare cuts and lack of reform will give the AARP a windfall of $1 billion in insurance profits, and preserve another $1.8 billion that AARP already generates from its business interests. Business interests, I thought they were in the business of supporting seniors. No, AARP generated $458 million in royalty fees from so-called “Medicare Gap Insurance Plans” and that is about twice as much as membership dues provides.
That’s why they never asked me about my opinion or to the best of my knowledge, nor any of my friends on anything. We were all members of AARP yet they never asked of any of our opinions about the issue or any other issues. However, a difference in one issue doesn’t mean you drop a business that has claimed they’re working on your behalf and seems like an old friend. Yet, the further I looked the more disagreement in issues I found. There was much support for socialist programs and policies. Some of that could be explained by the fact many seniors are in need of help and some of these programs do help.
However, further research shows AARP opposition to gun rights. It seems to me that some seniors many need a little protection. Recently I read the story of an elderly gentleman in Chicago who lived in a neighborhood that was known as a “Gang Banger” haven. He was denied the right to have a weapon for self-protection even while shots rang out all around him every night. Something very wrong about these reasonable gun controls that AARP supports.
Oh, one more thing, their stand on illegal immigration is, “It won’t hurt Social Security”. Now who is that dumb to believe that? Most of these people will be at the low end of the economic scale because of minimal skills. Many are now on welfare and any work is “off the books” so they’re not paying for Social Security. Most of these people are a financial drain on the system and they entered our country illegally. It’s hard for me to understand why foreign lawbreakers get privileges that many Americans don’t even get.
That’s the case on AARP and they are just not my cup of tea. I hope many of the readers will consider the facts and see if they want to support polices that they don’t agree with or perhaps switch to a different seniors group. Several other organizations offer the same kind of discounts. They also sell insurance but they take a very different position on many of the above issues. Let’s not be sold to quickly on slick brochures and self-aggrandizing commercials.