When people think of retirement organizations, the well-established, large AARP often comes to mind. However, as changes in healthcare and retirement policy have worked through Washington, members turn to newer organizations for alternate voices to AARP.
One such organization is the Association of Mature American Citizens, which launched in 2007. AMAC's website said
it functions “to offer an alternative perspective on how to best solve the problems seniors face today,” specifically by “fighting runaway taxes, excessive government involvement in our day-to-day lives, and the erosion of accountability at all levels of government.”
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In comparing AMAC to the AARP, there is a clear difference of political opinion. Unlike AMAC, AARP does not take strong stances on political issues on its website, claiming that it is nonpartisan.
Yet, AMAC credits its growth to members who are in opposition to AARP’s support for the Affordable Care Act, according to the Wall Street Journal
. AARP, which said publicly it did not take a side in the ACA debate, told the newspaper that it had been called a right-leaning organization in 2003 after supporting Republican Medicare reform.
In a comparison of the two organization’s sizes, AARP lays claim to more than 37 million members, which greatly outnumbers the 1 million of AMAC.
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On AMAC's website, the organization quoted a senator who discussed AARP's size. "When AARP comes to our committees they say they represent older Americans. We know at times they really don’t, but because of their numbers we have got to listen to them," AMAC quoted the unnamed politician
Consequentially, financial capacity of the two differs greatly. The Wall Street Journal
reported AMAC spent about $71,000 on federal lobbying in 2013. This was dwarfed by the $9.6 million federal lobbying expenses of AARP in the same year.
But while AMAC and AARP differ greatly in their size and mission, they both provide extensive member benefits. Ranging from health-care services to insurance to travel, both organizations list their discounts and perks clearly on their websites.
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