Obama and AARP Betrayed Seniors

Thursday, 25 Oct 2012 10:48 AM

By Chuck Woolery

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By now, most people are aware that AARP publicly supported the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, even though the organization knew it would cut more than $700 billion from Medicare. It also supported the Act despite the fact that AARP members overwhelmingly opposed it, about 14 to 1.

Recently, however, emails between the White House and AARP have been uncovered, revealing the extent to which they worked together to get the bill passed, including deceiving seniors about the consequences. This relationship has come into question many times, but AARP continues to claim that it is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that does not coordinate with any candidate or political party.

ben-nelson.jpg
Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina urged the AARP CEO to threaten Sen. Ben Nelson (above) with the organization’s influence.
(Getty Images)
The emails tell a different story. Various White House staffers — all the way up to Jim Messina, the Deputy Chief of Staff — discuss with AARP leadership how to convince both senators and seniors who may be contacting their representatives that passing Obamacare is critical. Messina even urged AARP’s CEO Barry Rand to threaten Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson with the organization’s influence.

The emails repeatedly reveal that AARP leadership knew that a vast majority of their members were opposed to Obamacare. For instance, Nancy LeaMond (AARP’s senior vice president) wrote to Messina: “As you requested, Barry and I met with Sen. Dorgan yesterday. He expressed concern (based on a Geoff Garin poll in his state) that seniors are wildly opposed to healthcare reform. He didn't press the point that perhaps we shouldn't do [healthcare reform], but rather he focused on the need for AARP to engage more.”

Instead of respecting and protecting seniors’ wishes, AARP pushed ahead with its own agenda and tried to find ways around the very people the organization supposedly serves. Because, of course, with the passage of Obamacare, AARP will make an estimated $1 billion in additional premiums each year thanks to the extra Medigap insurance that seniors will need after Medicare cuts. And profit is a powerful motive, even if these kinds of profits are what brought the AARP under investigation by the House Committee on Ways and Means, calling into question its non-profit, tax-free status.

While AARP profits off of its members, it retains its non-profit status. Meanwhile, Obamacare, the bill that would not have passed without AARP’s immense influence, introduces an additional 19 taxes for citizens to pay. You cannot help but see the blatant conflicts of interest that repeatedly arise in the pact struck between AARP and the White House.

As I am the spokesperson for Generation America, the conservative alternative to AARP, you might question my motives behind writing this. But I assure you, this is a story I would tell no matter what. Perhaps it is because I am a senior myself, but AARP’s deception of its members and the American people in general is appalling — especially since the organization is profiting so much from it. The organization projects a non-partisan image without agendas, but this collection of emails is blatant evidence of the contrary.

Generation America and other groups like it, were created in reaction to AARP’s support of Obamacare, a bill certain to harm seniors. It believes in truly supporting seniors and the programs and policies that help them. Traditional values — not profits — are the ideals that motivate it.

Chuck Woolery has been a Hollywood personality for more than four decades as a recording artist, actor and, most notably, as a legendary host of such game shows as “Wheel of Fortune,” “The Dating Game,” “Love Connection,” and “Lingo.” As a Navy veteran, Woolery has held conservative political views for most of his life. He did not share these views publicly due to the pervading liberal atmosphere in the entertainment industry.


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