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View Diary: Making Medicare a "more profitable line of business" (71 comments)

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  •  Not really.... (9+ / 0-)

    AARP knew what they were supporting.  They've "co-branded" a Medicare Advantage plan with UnitedHealth, and get something like 2.9% of UnitedHealth's loot from the drug bill.  That adds up to about $100 million, by the way.

    From a June 7, 2005 press release from Pete Stark's office:

    WASHINGTON, DC – AARP has submitted a proposal with UnitedHealth Group to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to offer a prescription drug plan under Medicare. AARP’s support was crucial in creating the Medicare drug plans they now plan to exploit for profit. US Rep. Pete Stark (D-Fremont) gave the following statement:

    "AARP’s most recent actions confirm what we predicted when they first threw their weight behind the Medicare drug bill in 2003.  They did so to improve their bottom line, not to help the 35 million seniors they claim to represent. It’s one thing to act in self-interest as a profit-making insurer; it’s another entirely to leverage a trusting membership of America’s seniors to pass legislation you know will do little more than line your own pocket.

    "In the end, the AARP leadership supported a bill that advanced a privatization agenda at the expense of beneficiaries and taxpayers. The new law sacrifices the traditional Medicare program and undermines coverage for millions of beneficiaries in exchange for grossly inadequate private prescription drug coverage.  The bill prevents the government from negotiating lower drug prices and will leave millions of low-income seniors on Medicaid worse off relative to today’s coverage.

    Now AARP is advocating for negotiating power, but if you look closely at the legislation passed in the House it really has no teeth.  So AARP gets to claim they're fighting for seniors when they know full well that just giving CMS the power to negotiate will not mean they will negotiate.  Hence their racket is safe.  

    By the way, I'm sorry but I know the next election cycle we're going to hear Democrats boasting to rooms full of seniors that they passed this "negotiation legislation" but Bush vetoed it.  Great.  No one will call them on the fact that the legislation itself was toothless to begin with.

    And the beat goes on...

    •  The AARP (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nyceve, splashy, barbwires, madgranny

      has always been an organization of those who Already Have And Want To Keep It, not an advocate for society's have-nots.  Its programs, prices, and the very ads in its magazine place it firmly in the price range of the Upper Middle Class (the "trustees" and collaborators of the wealthy); it has very little to offer those who have actually worked for a living (as opposed to sitting at desks doing something relatively pleasant until a nice "early retirement" at 50 or 55)for most of their lives (and still can only retire at the point where their bodies literally break down and they are condemned to the offices of SSI and Medicaid for the rest of them).  Their complete blindness to the real problems of real people was one reason my father always refused to become a member.

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