Last year, at about the same time I hit my 50th birthday, I decided to join AARP, the organization that was once known as the American Association of Retired Persons. Sometime ago AARP decided to forgo its four word appellation, choosing to use the same sort of alphabet soup designation favored by federal bureaucracies as well as by many companies including AT&T, IBM and BB&T. I’m not retired, probably many years from being in that position (if ever), but I wanted to have the benefits of AARP, including an excellent deal on their award winning magazine.
AARP’s Liberal Bent
Now I certainly know that AARP has a liberal bent, one that embraces an expanded federal government including endorsing ObamaCare. That doesn’t bother me because I’m used to working with people whose political views are all over the spectrum, but I’ve wondered if I’m part of a distinctly small minority of AARP conservatives who are older and prefer not to have the government run our lives.
Well, the past few weeks has revealed to me that many AARP members are NOT happy with ObamaCare and are particularly unhappy with the organization’s stance on that issue. Yesterday, I viewed a pair of YouTube videos about AARP including one where seniors were objecting to AARP volunteers’ positions about healthcare. That video was heavily edited, so it is difficult to determine just how much anger was flowing from the audience to the speakers, who soon shut the meeting down and left. That didn’t stop the two dozen or so remaining attendees from having their own meeting, which included a call for people to take back their government.
Royalty Fees For AARP
Aside from healthcare, AARP employs another controversial practice which many members may not know about. That practice involves receiving royalty fees for each time they recommend members to a product offered through their site or by way of one of their mailings. The video I have included here outlines this practice, revealing that AARP members may actually pay more for their auto insurance if they go through them instead of dealing directly with the insurance company.
For the record, I don’t have a problem with AARP, AAA and other organizations making some money off of a referral, but I believe that it is essential that this information be disclosed. I think I pay just $8 annually for my membership, which is next to nothing, but I don’t think it is right for AARP to make money on older Americans without their knowledge. From watching the video you will see that the plan pushed by AARP is costly and doesn’t deliver the promised savings – certainly, AARP could work with someone else who delivers maximum value while giving the organization some revenue.
Not Ready To Leave AARP
I’m not about to leave AARP despite my disagreement with them on some issues. However, I will continue to monitor the direction they take on any number of issues and I plan to express my viewpoint on healthcare to them.
I know that some of the seniors featured in the other video were planning to cancel their AARP membership, a move that believers of a smaller, central government may need to do. Millions of Americans are fed up at the “system” and are particularly angry if the organization that purports to represent them has financial motives for backing agendas contrary to what people want.
See Also — A Slow Bleed For Insurance Companies?