Some are reporting that the AARP is set to not just endorse ObamaCare, but the giant, radical House health care bill in particular. Now we all know that the AARP can always be counted on to support anything that promises to ingratiate its members at the expense of the rest of the country, but why would they back something that would take hundreds of billions out of Medicare and destroy the Medicare Advantage plan, something that 25% of seniors rely on, entirely?
As always, follow the money. The fact is that the AARP, through UnitedHealthcare, offers “Medicare supplement plans,” that essentially do the same job that Medicare Advantage does now, only the AARP gets a cut from each customer, plus the membership fee. Right now, those plans only cover 2.8 million people, but you can be sure that those numbers will skyrocket once their main competitor drops the over 10 million customers they have amassed. For the seniors who will lose their Medicare Advantage coverage thanks to Obama, but lack the resources to buy the AARP’s alternative? Tough luck. I guess we’d all better off if they would just learn to “die with dignity.”
Better yet, since Medicare does all of the dirty work for them, these plans will largely be exempt from the new Obama health care regulations. Even if the government option managed to drive out all private insurers, both the AARP and United would be able to stay in the insurance business, since this is only a supplement, not a true insurance offering. Plus, since the public option would also be pretty deficient when it comes to the business of actually providing decent health care, you can be sure that they would be willing to generously offer “public option supplement plans” (at reasonable rates, obviously) when the time comes.
It’s a shame that the AARP would squander any goodwill they have built up over time to support something that we know will be a terrible deal for seniors (not to mention everyone else) just to make a quick buck. Although, to be fair, part of me is a little satisfied that at least someone has figured out how to make money off of the latest big government boondoggle, I just wish the AARP’s entrepreneurial initiative didn’t come at the expense of the people that business and the government are supposed to represent.