Surprising Talk From AARP on Health Care Reform
The American Association of Retired Persons, now just called AARP, has been around since 1958. It started as a teacher's retirement group but when an insurance salesman approached the founder about offering insurance to its members he saw the opportunity to open it up to all people over the age of 50.
"AARP is not an insurer and does not pay insurance claims. Instead, AARP allows its name to be used by insurance companies in the sale of insurance products, for which it is paid a commission like an insurance agent"Per AARP's 2008 Consolidated Financials, it was paid $652,000,000 in royalties from insurance companies that sold products referred by AARP. Per those same financials AARP received an additional $120,000,000 for the ads placed in its publications."(Wikipedia)
That is why it has become expected that AARP would always come out on the side of the insurance companies on all issues relating to health insurance and in particular the health care reform debate that has swept the nation, and in fact they have dismissed single-payer as not an option and don't take seriously any calls for it. But if you look at the September issue of AARP Bulletin you might be surprised to see three separate articles that not only support radical change in the health care system but they also throw under the bus those who have been spreading and/or repeating myths and lies about proposed reform legislation.
"Overhauling the nation's ailing health care system is too important to be trivialized by the sort of rhetoric we've been hearing lately"Instead, we've seen a free-for-all of careless exaggeration, retooled social issues, partisan posturing and the revival of a time-worn "socialized medicine" shibboleth that didn't work 50 years age and is out of date today"In 1963, there was Ronald Reagan's ultimately unsuccessful argument that a government-operated medical program for older people was the first step to socialized medicine and eventually to a socialistic state. His grim forecast: "You and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it once was like in America when men were free."" -- From "Stop Talking and Start Thinking", Jim Toedtman
Yes, that was in AARP Bulletin! As was this:
"While America's health care system is known for research and innovation, it unfortunately costs too much, wastes too much, makes too many mistakes and gives us back too little value for our money"The cost of doing nothing is unacceptable. Without reform, a family's premiums for health insurance will almost double by 2016 to over $24,000. Medicare enrollees have already seen their premiums more than double this decade, and they already spend a third of their income on out-of-pocket health costs"There has been a lot of misinformation and fear-mongering in this debate. From allegations about rationing care to wild reports of government-sponsored euthanasia, the rumors just keep getting crazier. Haven't we all had enough?...We urge you to make your voice heard. Tell Congress not to let myths get in the way of fixing health care." -- From "Health Reform: The Time to Act Is Now", A. Barry Rand, CEO & Jennie Chin Hansen, President
And this article titled "The Assault on Truth" actually sounds supportive of Obama:
""a tsunami of rumors, myths, fear-mongering and misinformation about the proposals that surges around the internet""What we're seeing is a flood of viral content that distorts the Obama effort to reform health care," says Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, who runs www.factcheck.org, a website that examines specious claims from all sides of the political spectrum. "Extremists and people who are so locked into their own ideology that they'll distort anything have been out there forever," she adds"it would be useful if as many people as possible actually understood what the proposals are about," Jamieson says. But the rise of the Internet and the decline of the mainstream press as a prime source of information, she adds, put that prospect at risk"Could the rumor-mongering affect the outcome? Recent violent interruptions at lawmakers' town hall meetings suggest it might."
That article continues with a kind FAQ section:
"Will the government take over health care so we end up with socialized medicine?
No. Neither the president nor the congressional committees have suggested anything remotely resembling a government takeover of health care"Opponents of reform constantly use the term "government-run health care" to disparage the reform proposals, despite the popularity and success of existing government-run programs like Medicare. The tactic often works. Even some Medicare beneficiaries say they're worried about a "government takeover" of Medicare."