AARP Sacrificed Medicare on the Altar of ObamaCare

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) is a political committee devoted to maintaining and increasing the 239-member Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Recently released e-mails document the extent of AARP’s collusion with Democrats to ram through ObamaCare, so much so that AARP became concerned with continuing to appear “independent”:

AARP WAS CONCERNED ABOUT WANTING TO APPEAR “INDEPENDENT”: “In November 2009, Mr. Rother declined a White House request to have an AARP person take part in a roundtable. ‘I think we will try to keep a little space between us and the White House,’ he explained, adding that AARP's ‘polling’ shows the organization is more ‘influential when we are seen as independent.’ He wanted ‘to reinforce that positioning,’ said the man working daily to pass ObamaCare, since ‘the larger issue is how to best serve the cause.’” (Kimberly A. Strassel, “The Love Song of AARP and Obama,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/21/2012)

AARP’S POLICY CHIEF HAS SINCE LEFT TO WORK FOR THE LEFT-WING NATIONAL COALITION ON HEALTHCARE: “Mr. Rother has left AARP and now leads the liberal National Coalition on Health Care.” (Kimberly A. Strassel, “The Love Song of AARP and Obama,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/21/2012)

AARP EXECUTIVE VP CALLED OBAMACARE A “GREAT VICTORY” AND HAILED “THE NEW AARP-WH/HILL—LEAMOND/MESSINA RELATIONSHIP”: “When the health-care reform bill passed the House in March 2010, Ms. LeaMond exuberantly emailed Mr. Messina: ‘This is the new AARP-WH/Hill—LeaMond/Messina relationship. . . . Seriously, a great victory for you and the President.’” (Kimberly A. Strassel, “The Love Song of AARP and Obama,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/21/2012)

AARP even provided message points to the Democrats on how to talk about their Medicare cuts to pay for ObamaCare, a challenge AARP warned Democrats would be a “heavy lift”:

AARP PROVIDED OBAMA WHITE HOUSE “MESSAGE POINTS” ON MEDICARE: “As early as July 2009, Mr. Sloane was sending the administration—‘as promised’—his ‘message points’ on Medicare.” (Kimberly A. Strassel, “The Love Song of AARP and Obama,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/21/2012)

THESE MESSAGE POINTS MADE THEIR WAY INTO OBAMA’S SPEECHES: “Ms. DeParle assured him ‘I think you will hear some of your lines tomorrow’ in President Obama's speech—which he did. Mr. Rother advised the White House on its outreach, discouraging Mr. Obama from addressing seniors since ‘he may not be the most effective messinger [sic] . . . at least to the McCain constituency.’ Better to manage these folks, he counsels, through the ‘authoritative voices of doctors and nurses.’” (Kimberly A. Strassel, “The Love Song of AARP and Obama,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/21/2012)

AARP VP: “IT WAS ACTUALLY A HEAVY LIFT FOR US TO CONVINCE MANY AT AARP THAT MEDICARE ‘SAVINGS’ (WHICH THEY READ AS CUTS) IS NOT BAD FOR BENEFICIARIES”: “AARP had long lambasted cuts in fees to Medicare doctors because reduced payments would mean fewer doctors who accept patients with the insurance. Yet in its campaign for ObamaCare, it argued the money the health law strips from Medicare—by imposing price controls on hospitals—would improve ‘care.’ When the organization tried to sell the line to its own people, it didn't go well. Ms. Super told Obama officials in June 2009: ‘It was actually a heavy lift for us to convince many at AARP that Medicare 'savings' (which they read as cuts) is not bad for beneficiaries.’ Note the ‘savings’ quote marks.” (Kimberly A. Strassel, “The Love Song of AARP and Obama,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/21/2012)

THE ROYAL “WE”? AARP BRAINSTORMED WITH WHITE HOUSE ON NEED TO BETTER SELL OBAMACARE’S CUTS TO MEDICARE: “Even in November 2009, as the ObamaCare debate progressed, Ms. LeaMond worried that the Medicare spin wasn't working against public criticism of the bill. She emailed Mr. Messina and Ms. DeParle that she was ‘seized’ with ‘concerns about extended coherent, strong messaging by Republicans on the Medicare savings.’ To pull off the legislation, she mused, ‘we’—the White House and AARP—will need a ‘concerted strategy.’” (Kimberly A. Strassel, “The Love Song of AARP and Obama,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/21/2012)


DEMOCRATS RAIDED $716 BILLION FROM MEDICARE TO PAY FOR OBAMACARE: (Douglas Elmendorf, “Letter to the Honorable John Boehner,” Congressional Budget Office, 7/24/2012)

OBAMA HIMSELF HAS CITED THE $716 BILLION TO CLAIM IT BOTH PAYS FOR OBAMACARE AND EXTENDS THE LIFE OF MEDICARE: “Those savings do come out to $716 [billion], and those savings are part of what allows us to close the doughnut hole, provide the preventive care, and is actually going to extend the life of Medicare over the long term. It also, by the way, helps to reduce the increase in the premiums that seniors pay under Medicare.” (“Remarks by the President to AARP Convention Via Satellite,” The White House, 9/21/2012)

NEW STUDY BREAKS DOWN OBAMACARE’S $716 BILLION IN MEDICARE CUTS BY CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT: (“ObamaCare Cuts $700 Billion from Medicare,” American Action Network, 9/10/2012)

CBO: $156 BILLION IN CUTS TO MEDICARE ADVANTAGE, $20 BILLION HIGHER THAN FIRST ESTIMATE: (Douglas Elmendorf, “Letter to the Honorable John Boehner,” Congressional Budget Office, 7/24/2012)

MEDICARE ACTUARY: CURRENT SENIORS—AT LEAST 7.4 MILLION OF THEM—WILL LOSE MEDICARE ADVANTAGE DUE TO OBAMACARE: “The new provisions will generally reduce MA [Medicare Advantage] rebates to plans and thereby result in less generous benefit packages. We estimate that in 2017, when MA provisions will be fully phased in, enrollment in MA plans will be lower by about 50 percent (from its projected level of 14.8 million under the prior law to 7.4 million under the new law).” (Richard S. Foster, "Estimated Financial Effects of the ‘Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as Amended," Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 4/22/2010)

ONE-QUARTER OF SENIORS GET MEDICARE BENEFITS THROUGH MEDICARE ADVANTAGE: “Another $136 billion comes from reducing payments to private Medicare Advantage health plans, through which about one-quarter of seniors get Medicare benefits.” (Marilyn Werber Serafini, "Some Hill Races Hinge on Seniors' Anger Over Medicare," Kaiser Health News, 10/26/2010)

CUTS TO MEDICARE ADVANTAGE WILL “CAUSE MILLIONS OF SENIOR CITIZENS AND DISABLED AMERICANS TO LOSE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN HEALTH CARE SERVICES”: “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)[1] will cause millions of senior citizens and disabled Americans to lose billions of dollars in health care services every year by substantially reducing payments to Medicare Advantage (MA) plans.” (Robert A. Book and James C. Capretta, “Reductions in Medicare Advantage Payments: The Impact on Seniors by Region,” The Heritage Foundation, 9/14/2010)

The truth is AARP and other special interests got rich off ObamaCare while seniors saw their Medicare get cut. No wonder AARP is desperately trying to put distance between themselves and Democrats:

“AARP TO OBAMA: DON’T MENTION US AGAIN”: (Joel Gehrke, “AARP to Obama: Don’t Mention Us Again,” The Washington Examiner, 10/4/2012)

BUT AS OBAMACARE CUTS MEDICARE, AARP WILL MAKE UP TO $166 MILLION: “Thanks to its cuts to Medicare Advantage, Obamacare is expected to expand the number of seniors buying "medigap" supplemental insurance plans. AARP controls 34 percent of the market for such plans. According to a 2011 House Ways and Means Committee report, AARP stands to make between $55 million and $166 million from Obamacare in 2014 alone. (“ObamaCare: AARP’s Get-Rich-Quick Scheme,” The Washington Examiner, 9/22/2012)

“OBAMACARE: AARP’S GET-RICH-QUICK SCHEME”: (“ObamaCare: AARP’s Get-Rich-Quick Scheme,” The Washington Examiner, 9/22/2012)


SPECIAL INTERESTS GOT A PAY DAY IN EXCHANGE FOR SPENDING MILLIONS TO PROMOTE OBAMACARE: “In a June 2009 email, President Obama’s point person on health care promised the pharmaceutical industry it would be protected against efforts to allow cheap drugs to be re-imported from Canada, because drug lobbyists had been ‘constructive’ in their secret negotiations with White House officials. … As part of the final deal, PhRMA agreed to support health care legislation, spend millions on ads promoting it, and agree to $80 billion in savings and taxes to help finance the bill.” (Phillip Klein, “Emails Reveal Secret Obamacare Deal with Drug Cos,” The Washington Examiner, 5/31/2012)

QUID PRO QUO, CHICAGO-STYLE: “Drugmakers led by Pfizer (PFE) (PFE) Inc. agreed to run a ‘very significant public campaign’ bankrolling political support for the 2010 health-care law, including TV ads, while the Obama administration promised to block provisions opposed by drugmakers, documents released by Republicans show.” (Drew Armstrong, “Drugmakers Vowed to Campaign for Health Law, Memos Show,” Bloomberg, 5/31/2012)

DRUG COMPANIES GOT A LAW THAT PROVIDED THEM “MILLIONS OF NEW CUSTOMERS”: (Phillip Klein, “Emails Reveal Secret Obamacare Deal with Drug Cos,”The Washington Examiner, 5/31/2012)

PhRMA LOBBYIST: OBAMA “KNOWS PERSONALLY ABOUT” BACKROOM DEAL TO TRADE POLICY FOR PAID ADS: “[T]he Pres’s words are harmless. He knows personally about our deal and is pushing no agenda.” (Footnote 21, House Energy and Commerce Committee, 6/8/2012)

WHITE HOUSE GAVE AARP A LIST OF 25 HOUSE DEMOCRATS TO THANK WITH AD BUYS FOR SUPPORTING OBAMACARE: “Messina also forwarded the AARP a list of ‘top 25 targets list from house leadership’ that were ‘to get thanked with ads after the vote.’ ” (Energy and Commerce Staff, “Investigation Update: Closed-Door ObamaCare Negotiations,” House Energy and Commerce Committee, 6/8/2012)

WSJ: OBAMACARE DEALS SHOW “CRONY CAPITALISM”: (Editorial, “ObamaCare’s Secret History,” The Wall Street Journal, 6/11/2012)



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