October 4 2012
Oh, how sharper than a serpent’s tooth is the ingratitude of AARP. AARP, you may recall, reaped huge financial benefits from being a crucial part of the coalition to get Obamacare passed. But it has a message to President Obama: stop dropping our name.
In the wake of last night’s presidential debate, when the president mentioned AARP’s support for Obamacare, the organization has put out a statement. It reads in part:
“While we respect the rights of each campaign to make its case to voters, AARP has never consented to the use of its name by any candidate or political campaign,” the group posted in a statement. “AARP is a nonpartisan organization and we do not endorse political candidates nor coordinate with any candidate or political party.”
Joel Gehrke of the Examiner comments:
Obama can perhaps be forgiven for thinking he could mention AARP given how they coordinated with him to pass Obamacare, which is a golden goose for the organization.
“Thanks to its cuts to Medicare Advantage, Obamacare is expected to expand the number of seniors buying “medigap” supplemental insurance plans,” The Washington Examiner explained in an editorial. “AARP controls 34 percent of the market for such plans. According to a 2011 House Ways and Means Committee report, AARP stands to make between $55 million and $166 million from Obamacare in 2014 alone.”
It is ironic that AARP, which of course claims to represent older citizens, was willing to sacrifice a program on which many rely--Medicare Advantage--to feather its own nest. (To get an idea of what the AARP does for itself in the name of seniors: here and here).
AARP’s sudden decision to put daylight between itself and the president is fascinating—it may be that the organization fears loss of its nonprofit status because of its work on behalf of the administration. Or perhaps the president’s horrible debate performance made them wonder if it might be time to try to make new friends.