February 3, 2012
AARP Remains Major Obstacle to Fixing Medicare
60 Plus Jim Martin: “Grandma WILL go over the cliff, with an AARP sticker on her wheelchair.”
(Alexandria, Virginia) – Congressional physicians are reaching out to the AARP for assistance in solving the looming insolvency of Medicare, and receiving the cold shoulder in return. This prompted a response from 60 Plus Chairman Jim Martin, leader of the nation’s largest conservative seniors organization, with over 7.1 million supporters.
“AARP has once again shown that when the chips are down and America’s seniors are looking for strong advocacy on their behalf, they just fold their cards. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is very clear that without reform, the Medicare trust fund will go broke in 10 years. AARP has a real opportunity — as well as responsibility — to help create a solution to save Medicare for America’s seniors and future retirees, but they reject out of hand all reasonable efforts to preserve and strengthen the program, just as they did with the bi-partisan Wyden-Ryan plan.
“What I find especially troubling is that when President Obama and (then) Speaker Nancy Pelosi needed AARP’s nod to cut $500 billion from Medicare, they were there before the phone hung up. Now you have 18 Congressmen, medical professionals no less, from the House and Senate asking AARP to help keep Medicare from going bankrupt, and the silence is deafening. This is all you need to know to realize that AARP is a political organization feeding at the government trough, and not a true voice for America’s seniors.”
The open letter sent by the Doctor Caucus stated, in part, “Unfortunately, as long as politicians obscure the Medicare program’s prognosis for political benefit and stakeholders like AARP fail to publicly challenge these political calculations by educating their membership on the structural financing challenges facing the program, a national conversation about how best to save the Medicare program will not move forward.”
Continued Martin, “I commend Congressman Gingrey (GA-11), Senator Coburn (OK) and all the members of the Doctors Caucus for their leadership on addressing the Medicare crisis. They need real partners to keep Medicare strong for the future, and it is a true shame that the AARP has made it clear that it won’t be them.”