During the Watergate scandal, Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein were instructed by the secret informant, ‘Deep Throat’, (finally admitted to being a former FBI operative, Mark Rich), to ‘Follow the Money’.
It all led to a chain of corruption and ‘dirty tricks’ all the way up to the ‘Trickster’ himself, “Tricky Dick” President Richard M. Nixon.
Have you ever wondered why and how an august organization such as the AARP could take a political stand and support the House-passed version of the Pelosi Health Care Bill?
The AARP is supposed to be ‘non-partisan’ and operate under the protection and advantages of the non-profit tax status of the US tax code. They are also not supposed to engage in political ‘advocacy’ since they are supposedly ‘just trying to take care of grandma and grandpa’ through getting the facts out there for them to make decisions on when they vote.
Oh, and have they ever told grandma and grandpa that they are engaged in a billion-dollar enterprise to sell Medigap insurance to them on as much of a captive basis as possible?
You didn’t know that? You just thought you paid your little old $10 annual AARP fee and got discounts on movie tickets, rental cars and hotels and maybe an additional discount off of the senior citizens’ dinner special at the Blue Plate restaurant around the corner?
If you ‘follow the money’ in anything close to politics in general and in Washington specifically, you will find your answer to why everything is ultimately done under the guise of advancing the ‘correct’ public policy.
‘Follow the Money’ on the AARP special interests in this bill and you will find that it leads directly to protecting $500 million worth of annual business they have selling Medigap insurance to senior citizens.
$½ Billion. And they will do anything they can to keep it that way for themselves.
Take a look at this very fine piece of journalistic excellence by a dogged advocate for better health care reform by the name of Grace-Marie Turner of the Galen Institute, "AARP Gets What It Wants"
(Galen, by the way, was a Roman physician who was the first person to use methodical, ‘scientific’ ways to analyze physiology and perform medicine around the year 160 A.D. or so. I wonder if he would survive as a physician under the new Obama/Pelosi/Reid health program?)
If you are mad at big business for taking all of that bailout money last year, you ought to be mad about the AARP trying to manipulate the emotions of 39 million seniors by not disclosing the reasons why they want this bill so badly. It has nothing to do with helping seniors have ‘choice’ in their selection of their health care supplemental plans under Medicare. In fact, the AARP wants seniors to have as few choices as possible…as long as the choices are all under the purview and control of, you guessed it….the AARP.
Does it ever make you wonder why the AARP is so entrenched in Washington nowadays? What would happen if, let’s say, 10 million people aged 55-65 did not join the AARP? (I got my card a couple of years ago and promptly burned it like all you older crazy former Hippie Boomers did in the ‘60’s when you burned your draft cards instead of going to Vietnam)
Well, 10 million fewer AARP members coming in when another 10 million of them are aging on over the years would mean approximately $200 million less per year in revenue to the organization. Talk about the cutbacks in staff that would entail! They would also start to lose their biggest weapon, their legendary “see you at the polls’ threat they always use on any politician who even asks a question about whether we can continue to afford Social Security and Medicare in its current formats. (We can’t)
And if you are in your 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and early 50’s, the AARP could not care less about whether or not you have to pay any consequences for these tremendous debts we are running up on your tab. They just don’t give a damn…or else they would not have stood in the doorway to any reasonable changes over the years.
So read Grace-Marie Turner’s great insight one more time before you move on to other things. And then tear up your AARP card, burn it and do not ever join it again….they do not speak for your best interests and the best interests of the nation as a whole.
They care about one thing and one thing only…market share and keeping up their revenues. Sounds just like the Wall Street gang and the Detroit automakers (except Ford Motor..go buy a Ford today!) last year.
“Follow the Money!” It is going from your pockets right into whatever the AARP tells the White House and Congress to put it in.