AARP’s role in Obamacare expansion could be problematic for Alabama taxpayers
As calls for Medicaid expansion resurface in Alabama, it is no coincidence that mega-donors of the left along the lines of George Soros and Tom Steyer have decided to participate in the state’s elections this cycle.
Another such champion of liberal causes which may also enter the fray is AARP. The group has not shied away from advocating for expansion of the healthcare entitlement program in conservative, red states such as Utah.
As with the expansion of any government program, the debate primarily centers on how a state pays for its growth.
AARP’s participation in the debate surrounding Obamacare expansion could be particularly problematic for Alabama taxpayers.
Perhaps the most significant result of AARP’s resistance to healthcare reform has been the group’s ability to profit nearly $4.5 billion from its sale of healthcare plans to Medicare beneficiaries. AARP is able to enjoy this enormous profit by taking advantage of an Obamacare loophole which allows AARP to deny Medigap plans based on pre-existing conditions.
These moves by AARP have been characterized as “shady business practices,” yet the group has been successful in preserving the status quo of the pre-existing condition loophole.
It is this fact, among others, that has led to criticism that AARP has strayed far from its mission as an advocacy group for seniors. For example, in the fourth quarter of 2016, AARP lobbied on 77 different bills in Congress, including topics such as National Parks and autonomous vehicles, but took no action to support Medigap reform.
In Alabama, AARP has previously joined forces with Democratic Party-aligned groups like Sierra Club to fight for the Obama environmental agenda.
These are the types of natural alliances that have been cultivated over the years through the continuing activity of the Obama political organization. GMMB, a high-brow Democratic Party consulting firm, counts both Obama and AARP among its clients. GMMB’s website includes extensive branding from AARP and Obama as part of its firm marketing.