Congressional Inquiry Reveals ObamaCare’s Billion Dollar Give Away to AARP
Forget the Cornhusker Kickback. Thanks to a House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee Investigation, we finally know why AARP worked so hard to get ObamaCare passed. Congressman Charles Boustany (R-La), a real life MD, released the findings of a nearly year-long investigation that revealed how AARP stands to make nearly $1 billion over the next 10 years if ObamaCare remains in affect.
“As one of the country’s most well-known non-profits, many of America’s seniors trust AARP to represent their interests,” Boustany said in an appearance on Salem Radio Network’s The Mike Gallagher show. “But in light of AARP’s dependence on its income from insurance products, there is good reason to question whether AARP is primarily looking out for seniors or just its own bottom line.”
“This should be called The Great Senior Swindle,” Gallagher told Boustany. “Conservatives who are members of AARP should quit immediately. And those who are not members should not join.”
AARP’s revenue in 2009 was a stunning $1.4 billion, with over $700 million of that revenue coming from the royalties they receive from the licensing of insurance products.
Worse, the investigation revealed that ObamaCare will cause 7 million seniors to lose their Medicare Advantage plans, resulting in a migration to Medigap plans.
“AARP is the nation’s biggest Medigap plan provider, the report revealed, “and AARP will gain between $55 and $166 million in 2014 alone as a result of new Medigap enrollees thanks to ObamaCare, which AARP strongly endorsed.”
AARP’s financial gain from ObamaCare could exceed $1 billion during the next 10 years,
“That’s 1 billion reasons why AARP supported ObamaCare,” explained Dan Weber, President of AMAC, a conservative alternative to AARP. “AARP took the deal Rahm Emanuel and President Obama offered them, and left seniors holding the bag.”
Fireworks on Capitol Hill
There were some real fireworks when AARP’s President, A. Barry Rand, testified on Capitol Hill. Congressman Tom Price (R-Ga), another real life doctor, and Congressman Wally Herger (R-Ca) exposed the sheer duplicity of AARP.
“It is troubling that the AARP – that supposedly exists to advocate on behalf of seniors – would fight for a health care law that cuts Medicare by over $500 billion and limits insurance coverage choices for seniors,” said Price. “The report reminds the American people of all of ObamaCare’s sweetheart deals. Health reform should always be about putting patients first and not be built for any group’s political or financial advantage.”
The hearing revealed some other surprises. It turns out that AARP makes big money from the interest it charges while premiums sit in AARP coffers for undetermined amounts of time. AARP collected and processed over 6.8 billion in insurance premiums in 2009 alone, and AARP’s President, after a relentless grilling by Congressmen Herger, revealed that interest on those premiums were as much as $60 million a year, thus making AARP a bank, as well as an insurance company.
In addition, the hearing revealed the staggering salaries of AARP executives, some of which topped out at over $1.6 million, and even more lucrative benefit and pension packages.
In some very tough exchanges, AARP was accused by multiple members of the panel for not cooperating with members of Congress during the nearly year long investigation.
Congressman Herger was particularly angered by AARP’s foot dragging, and expressed alarm that AARP was still considered a non-profit, when so much of the operation acts like a for profit.
“The facts show AARP no longer operates like a seniors’ advocacy organization; instead it more closely resembles a for-profit insurance company. In 2009, AARP raised 46% of its revenue from royalty payments, versus just 17% from membership dues. While questions have indeed been raised in the past about AARP’s reliance on royalties, the amount of these payments has nearly tripled just over the past decade.
AMAC President Dan Weber was not surpised by the investigation, or anything he heard at the hearings. “The fact is that AARP has been misleading its members for a very long time, especially its conservative members, and they need to know that they can get insurance elsewhere – and at competitive rates - where their values won’t be sold.”
“AARP spends millions to create the impression that they are the only game in town for seniors when it comes to their insurance needs,” explained Lee Habeeb, a content and policy producer for some of radio’s biggest shows, including Mike Gallagher’s, Bill Bennett’s and Michael Medved’s. “The good news is, conservative seniors are no longer hostages to AARP, and can join a group like AMAC.”
To read more about the House report, go to – www.Amac.us