Obamacare Is Billion-Dollar Cash Cow for AARP, GOP Report Says, Pressing for Probe

Thursday, 31 Mar 2011 11:32 AM

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The powerful seniors lobby AARP stands to make more than a billion dollars over the next 10 years from the sale of supplemental Medicare policies under Obamacare, a House GOP report reveals. The report from Reps. Wally Herger, R-Calif., and Dave Reichert, R-Wash., alleges the Affordable Care Act will result in great demand for the Medigap policies that have the AARP stamp of approval, The Washington Post reported.

The House Ways and Means Committee’s health and oversight subcommittees have scheduled a joint hearing to question AARP officials about the group’s financial concerns. “This hearing is about getting to the bottom of how AARP’s financial interests affect their self-stated mission of enhancing seniors’ quality of life. It is important to better understand how AARP’s insurance business overlaps with its advocacy efforts and whether such overlap is appropriate,” Herger told the Post.

AARP President Lee Hammond rejected the allegations. “AARP has long maintained that we would gladly forgo revenue in exchange for lifetime health and financial security for all older Americans,” the Post quotes Hammond as saying.

The group, which began in the 1950s as American Association of Retired Persons, has been praised and targeted by both Republicans and Democrats in the past. Democrats assailed the organization when it endorsed President George W. Bush’s expansion of prescription drug benefits, according to the Post.

AARP claims 37 million members, spent $22 million on lobbying last year, and reported $1.4 billion in revenue in 2009, the Post reported.

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