News and Opinion for Democrats Against Bush -- Part II
AARP (headed by Republican) Sells Out Medicare
PT. II - HOME PAGE
PT. II - CONTENTS
BUSH and the MEDIA
CIVIL RIGHTS
-- Gay Rights
THE ECONOMY
-- The Real Deficit
---- Deficit Lies
-- International Debt
---- Children Will Pay
-- Tax Cut Con Game
---- Tax-Cut Lies
------ to Small Business
---- Phony Benefits
---- Hurting States
---- Why Accepted?
---- Cuts Will Backfire
-- Low-Tax Mania
-- Move toward Flat Tax
-- Corp. Tax Dodgers
-- Corporate Welfare
---- Halliburton
-- The SUV Boondoggle
-- Unemploym't Worse
------ Comp. Denied
---- Jobs Not Created
-- Widespread Poverty
-- False Recovery
-- Stock Market
EDUCATION
-- Texas Sch. Scandals
-- Broken Promises
-- Abandoned Youth
-- College Aid Cut
-- Aid to Rich Colleges
-- Textbooks Censored
-- Acad. Freedom Denied
ELECTRONIC VOTING -- --- A Crucial Issue
ENERGY
-- Monstrous Bill
---- Allows Blackouts
---- Bi-Part. Oppos'n
-- New Energy Bill
ENVIRONMENT
-- Bush's "Eco-Speak"
---- How to Tell Lies
-- Crimes v. Nature
---- Air Pollution
---- Global Warming
---- Ozone Depletion
---- Chemical Hazards
---- Loss of Wildlife
-- States Combat Bush
---- Power Plant Suits
-- Pension Funds, Too
LABOR ISSUES
-- Worker Safety
-- Real Jobless Stats
-- Overtime in Danger
--"Productivity"
PUBLIC HEALTH
-- Poor Ranking
-- Privatized Socialism
-- Health Insurance
---- The Uninsured
------ Middle Class
-- Cost of Drugs
-- Medicare
---- A Cynical Bill
---- Favoring HMOs
---- $$ to Drug Co.s
---- Bait and Switch
---- AARP Sells Out
---- Bullying to Win
---- Australian Critique
---- Some Good News
-- Chill on Research
TRANSPORTATION
-- Amtrak
-- Mars vs. Amtrak
WAR OF IDEAS
-- Use of Language
WAR on TERROR
--'Enemy Combatants'
-- Ultra-Secret Trials
-- Homeland Insecurity
---- Funds Miss Needs
WAR on CIVIL RIGHTS
-- FBI Prying Grows
---- Targeting Protests
------ & Anti-Bush Talk
-- Computer Privacy
-- Patriot Act
---- Excesses
------ Cure - SAFE Act
---- Dangers
---- Author's Fear
---- Librarians' Warning
--"Patriot Act II"
---- Death for Protest?
---- Sneak Enactments
-- CAPPS II
---- GAO Criticisms
---- EFF Concerns
-- Guantanamo
---- Conditions
---- Legal Status
---- UK Judge's Blast
-- Torture Condoned
---- Canadian's Ordeal
-- Yousef Yee
WAR on SCIENCE
-- Scientists Accuse
---- Admin. Can't Deny
WAR on WOMEN
-- Abortion Truths
-- Notorious Photo
WAR on WORKING FAMILIES
' The administration also deftly coopted the feeble giant AARP. As recently as last July, the AARP's president, William Novelli, warned that "any final conference agreement should not destabilize Medicare nor penalize those beneficiaries who choose to stay in the current Medicare program." But this is exactly what the conference bill does." '--The Boston Globe

moveon.org
Excerpt from moveon.org e-mail newsletter, Nov. 20, 2003--
 
AARP is selling out on Medicare
 
The AARP has endorsed a bill that would make two fundamental changes
in Medicare
:

1. First, it would force people to make a stark choice: either pay
sharply increased premiums to stay in traditional Medicare, where
they can choose their doctor; or be forced out, into an HMO.

Newt Gingrich, the former House Republican leader, said in 1995
that he wanted to let Medicare to "wither on the vine." This
change would lead to that result, with cost incentives driving
people out. (Not coincidentally, AARP CEO William Novelli
recently wrote the forward to Gingrich's book. [2])

2. Second, it offers a prescription drug benefit, but requires people
who want this coverage to buy it from private insurance plans.

This part of the bill also bars the government from doing the one
thing it could do to actually reduce the cost of these drugs --
negotiate for lower prices, using the size of the Medicare program
as leverage. Drug prices are soaring now, and unless they're
brought under control, they will eventually bankrupt Medicare.

AARP itself sells insurance and also sells prescription drugs, so
the group stands to reap huge financial gains from this change.

The bill has been opposed by a host of liberal groups [3] as well as
by major conservative groups, including the Club for Growth, The
Heritage Foundation, the American Conservative Union, The Cato
Institute, and the National Taxpayers Union. It's also been assailed
by virtually every one of the Democratic presidential candidates. [4]

In endorsing this bill, the AARP has broken faith with its members. In
a recent poll, 65% of AARP members said they're opposed to it. [5]
The group has also violated its own written principles. In July, CEO
William Novelli wrote to Congress stating the requirements for AARP's
support of a Medicare bill. [6] Yet the bill AARP has just endorsed
fails to meet nine separate requirements stated in that letter. [7]

We need to hold the AARP responsible for selling out its members. If
the organization sees sufficient backlash from its members and
prospective members, it could still change course and effect the
outcome of this legislation. Please call your local AARP branch
today.

Sincerely,
--Carrie, Eli, James, Joan, Noah, Peter, Wes, and Zack
The MoveOn.org Team
November 20th, 2003

-----
[1] 85 Representatives wrote to Novelli, canceling their memberships:
http://www.moveon.org/HouseAARPletter.pdf
[2] From the foreword by Novelli to Gingrich's new book, "Saving Lives
and Saving Dollars".
[3] See
http://www.moveon.org/medicare.html for a complete list of
organizations.
[4] See:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A54358-2003Nov17.html
[5] Poll: a majority of AARP members oppose the Medicare bill:
http://www.moveon.org/Medicaresurveypr.pdf
[6] AARP July letter on minimum acceptable standards
http://www.aarp.org/Articles/a2003-08-18-drugbenefitinmedicare.html
[7] How AARP goes back on its word
http://www.house.gov/schakowsky/Document_AARP_Priorities_11_17_03.html
[8] http://www.aarp.org/leadership/Articles/a2002-12-18-aarpfactsheet.html

Boston Globe
 
ROBERT KUTTNER

The rush to kill Medicare

...  The administration also deftly coopted the feeble giant AARP. As recently as last July, the AARP's president, William Novelli, warned that "any final conference agreement should not destabilize Medicare nor penalize those beneficiaries who choose to stay in the current Medicare program." But this is exactly what the conference bill does.

Sources close to AARP say that Novelli and his lobbyists, often allied with Democrats, wanted to point to a bipartisan accomplishment.

When AARP's $7 million advertising program in support of the bill was announced, the organization's switchboard jammed with angry calls. AARP has long been a business conglomerate selling products to the elderly posing as an advocacy group. Novelli is taking a huge gamble. The more his members appreciate what's really in this bill, the more his move could backfire. ...

Robert Kutter is co-editor of The American Prospect. His column appears regularly in the Globe.

2003 The New York Times Company

 
 

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