It might surprise people to know that the American Association of Retired Persons, the nation’s largest representative organization for seniors, is activly calling for government-run healthcare. After all, the evidence that this government takeover will hurt retired persons the most is undisputed. Quality of care will plummet, with most vulnerable seniors the hardest hit.

Today’s Washington Post sheds some light on AARP’s decision, and why it  has spent more than $37 million on lobbying since January 2008.. It emergest that AARP stands to make millions if this legislation is passed. The Post reports that AARP collected more than $650 million in royalties and other fees last year from the sale of insurance policies, credit cards and other products that carry the AARP name, while former AARP chief executive William Novelli received more than $1 million in compensation last year. 

Proposals before congress would significantly increase AARP’s already bulging coffers. An insurance-mandate is the most obvious of these – forcing people to buy insurance they don’t want and don’t need will increase insurance companies profits, which will flow onto AARP. What’s more however, is that the Senate Finance Committe Bill specifically excludes AARP from limits on the tax tax deductibility for all insurance company executive salaries over $500,000. Other parts of the proposal, such as the "windfall profits" tax, also would not apply to AARP, once again making it more attractive for insurance companies to funnel campaigns through the AARP. Most insiduously,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.

One thing is clear. AARP stands for one thing and one thing only – itself. Not the seniors it purports to represent, not the vulnerable in society, itself.

Fortunatly, most seniors are seeing through AARP’s self-interested spin and deceit, and recognize the disaster of government run healthcare for what it is.