01.30.10

Senior Views on Health Care

Posted in Senior Citizen at 11:16 pm by admin

If you are only looking at the surface, it might appear that all seniors across America favor the Democratic health care plans proposed by President Obama and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. That’s because the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) has run an aggressive advertising campaign to promote the agenda. The AARP is the one of the most powerful special interest groups in the United States.

One advertisement was especially polarizing. The commercial, which aired nationally, showed an ambulance driving with sirens blaring. The driver was obviously trying to get to the hospital as soon as possible, but every time he tried to turn, a car cut him off. Every avenue was blocked. The voiceover explained that America desperately needs the health care reform being discussed in Congress, but there were people stopping it. And those obstructionists were making the patients die.
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The entire campaign inspired thousands of seniors to abruptly leave the powerful lobbying group. Why? Because not everybody in the group saw things the way that the AARP leadership did. Millions of the group’s members have wanted nothing to do with the president’s health care plan, sensing it will lead the country toward socialism, something they have seen in action and believe will ultimately harm the country.

The discussion angered many seniors including, not surprisingly, Senator and former presidential candidate John McCain, who urged American seniors to cut up their AARP member cards and send the broken pieces back to the group.

Fortunately, there is choice on every corner in America. There are more choices in America besides the AARP. Most notably, the American Seniors Association (ASA) is specifically geared toward elderly citizens, and the 60 Plus Association is a politically active group for conservative seniors age sixty and over. Both groups bill themselves as alternatives to the giant AARP, which is far larger and more influential.

Recently, the Chairman of the 60 Plus Association, Jim Martin, testified before the GOP Doctors Caucus that the AARP was bias toward President Obama’s health care plan because it would favor their own business practices. Martin said “The AARP makes millions of dollars every year in royalties from selling insurance. They have a vested interest in this reform, but that interest is in their bottom line, not in the best interest of the seniors they supposedly represent.” (quote from www.60plus.org)
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Since the election of Scott Brown in Massachusettes, the health care debate has slowed down. There will probably not be a new piece of legislation to reform the health care system for quite a while. The AARP and it’s counterparts will, in the mean time, continue to argue over the future of health care, and how it affects American seniors.

Whatever your political leaning, there is a place for you to add your voice to the discussion. While they may not be politically neutral, the AARP is still going strong for anyone over 50. Their website www.aarp.com is a comprehensive resource center for news, information, and services for seniors. On the other side of the aisle, you can find news, information and services at www.60plus.org and www.americanseniors.org.