AARP – Won’t Listen to it’s Members

The AARP won’t listen to it’s own members.

About Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno


  1. This is just a bunch a right wing extremists.  Haven’t you heard Racheal Maddow said so…so it must be true right?

    Has anyone turned them into yet?  

    Georgia’s medical association is voicing concern about the whole issue as well.

  2. …many of the people in that room (and most AARP members) are already part of a government run health care system–Medicare.  I reminds me of that quote, “I don’t want government getting involved in my Medicare…”

  3. Most published reports on the proposed plans include anywhere from 10-20 bln in cuts to Medicare.  Most claim it will come from savings realized, but it is a “perceived” threat to their benefits.  Many of these folks are already retired and living on a combination of SS, 401k and investments….some on a fairly fixed income as well.  Implications for tax hikes down the road for them are a concern.  Have to remember many of these folks who are not “wealthy” took large hits in their overall portfolio recently and they don’t want any surprises…some have had to postpone retirement already (I think you only have to be 55? to join AARP).

    I’m sure there are some that have bad information, some that just don’t want the gov’t in anything, and some that really don’t know what (if any) impact changes will have on them.  Some outright believe that eventually everyone will, especially medicare recipients, will be forced into a public system, when most are fairly satisfied with the Medicare they have….a system that potentially will have an additional 45+ million people competing for limited services.  

    There is a shortage of GP’s (because the money is specialties, and fewer practicing hassles), and common sense would make one ask how we can drop so many people into one end of the pool and not create a wave at the other end.  Many plans use the gatekeeper model, where you have to go to a GP, to get the doc you really need.  That could add to already extended wait times in this part of the country.  

    I saw stats on wait times to see specialists. We have some of the highest concentration of doctors and medical facilities in this part of the world (from DC up the east coast), but wait times of almost 3 months NOW.  I don’t even have to go to a GP and I have two wait over 2 months to see an endocrinologist.  Last year I waited almost 4 months to get an orthro appt.  Lots of walkers and canes in that waiting room…that may be the source of some alarm.

  4. You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.

    Abraham Lincoln

    AARP is, above all else, a money-making enterprise, and behaves like one.  It sells 17 types of insurance.  Founded in 1958 to provide health insurance to retired teachers (its co-founder was a New York insurance salesman), AARP has faced disputes with the Internal Revenue Service and the postal service dating back to the 1980s over income from insurance marketing deals .  Today AARP is a major broker of health insurance programs, pulling in almost $500 million in 2007 from its insurance partners’ royalty and revenue payments .  As CEO of AARP Inc and Secretary of the AARP Foundation, William Novelli received well over $900,000 in 2006, putting him in the upper half of the American Institute of Philanthropy’s list of top 25 compensation packages for “nonprofits”.  Novelli’s deferred compensation, reported in the AARP Foundation’s IRS Form 990 for the same year, amounted to a handsome $1,797,751.

    Contrary to popular perception, AARP is not a genuine membership organization. Where its treasure lies, there lies its heart, and the proportion of AARP income from membership dues accounts for far less than its take from commercial income; in the middle years of this decade, dues provided only 30 percent of AARP’s income, and that proportion is decreasing.  Aside from the rare e-mail and letter-writing mobilization at the behest of leadership, member participation consists of sending in annual checks to qualify for discounts:  only a sliver of the membership actually takes part in anything resembling local chapter activity.  AARP does not select its leadership through democratic election either, so governance resides in a self-selecting board.

    AARP does do good some work.  AARP’s assistance with tax returns, estate planning and health care advice have aided millions.

    Any survey of AARP’s service to seniors, however, must look at what AARP members get for their money when they trust the AARP logo.

    Belying their image of trust and consumer protection, AARP does not offer the least expensive insurance offerings.  The AARP / UnitedHealth basic healthcare policy in Los Angeles costs $428 a year more than an available competitor’s policy.  The purchaser of an auto insurance policy endorsed by AARP found he was paying twice the average of twelve other companies’ offerings.  Similarly, life insurance policies endorsed by AARP cost more than competitors’.  AARP’s array of financial products include investments having higher fees and worse performance than those available elsewhere as well.

    Some of AARP’s health insurance marketing practices were disingenuous enough to receive the attention of the US Senate Finance Committee;  plans with names like “AARP Medical Advantage” carried advertising offering comprehensive coverage that did not materialize in the face of high medical costs.  In response to the investigation, AARP suspended sales of the policies.  Consumer Reports poked fun at AARP’s life insurance advertising, which proclaimed availability to anyone 50 and over but excluded anyone over 80 in its fine print.

    AARP’s biggest beneficiaries are its partners in moneymaking.  The most salient example is UnitedHealth Group Inc, America’s biggest private health insurance corporation, which began its immensely successful association with AARP in 1996.  After passage of Medicare D, UnitedHealth came out on top in the scramble to enroll seniors in new drug benefit plans.  They brought in over 3.9 million enrollees before the May 15, 2006 deadline, and their alliance with AARP proved critical to their victory.  In that same year,  UnitedHealth CEO William McGuire retired, having accumulated $1.6 billion in stock options.  Yes, that’s a “b,” as in “billions.”

    AARP will support any big government tax payer subsidized healthcare system, as long as they are getting their slice of the pie.  Their members are a mere afterthought.

  5. …we can agree that AARP is nothing but an insurance company.

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