My only regret about not being a “joiner” is that I don’t have many opportunities to quit organizations. I am a member of AARP, though, and this is looking like the perfect time to quit.
House Republicans have issued a report providing evidence that AARP is in a position to receive tens of millions of dollars in “kickbacks” if Democratic health care legislation becomes law. Phillip Klein explains:
President Obama and Democrats have proposed saving money to pay for health care legislation, in part, by cutting $162 billion in payments to Medicare Advantage, which allows Medicare recipients to choose privately-administered coverage. If these changes go through, millions of seniors who have chosen Medicare Advantage would lose their current coverage, forcing them into government-administered plans with less generous benefits. As a result, many of them would have to purchase policies to supplement traditional Medicare. Enter AARP.
In 2008, AARP generated $652.7 million in revenue by selling products like Medigap supplemental Medicare insurance, accounting for over 60 percent of the group’s revenue, according to an analysis of its financial statements cited in the report released by the House Republican Conference.
If the House Democrats health care bill becomes law, the report argues, it would be a boon to AARP, because while Medicare Advantage plans will be required to pay out 85 percent of the money collected in premiums to claims made by policy holders, the requirement would only be 65 percent for the kind of Medigap policies sold by AARP.
“In other words, under the Democrat bill, seniors could pay as much as 20 cents more out of every premium dollar to fund ‘kickbacks’ to AARP-sponsored Medigap plans than Medicare Advantage plans,” the GOP report charges.
Klein reports that AARP has issued what amounts to a non-denial denial, the kind that makes me think it’s quittin’ time.