AARP is going after Republicans in a new ad campaign, but other organizations of people 50-plus think it's "disgraceful" and simply a demonstration AARP is only looking out for its bottom line.
AARP has joined forces with other major organizations to launch a public tour imploring the Senate to scrap the American Health Care Act that was narrowly passed by the House of Representatives (those senators specifically targeted are identified below).
Under the American Health Care Act, AARP says insurers would be able to charge Americans ages 50 to 64 a significantly higher rate than younger consumers, something AARP calls an "age tax." AARP says the AHCA would also eliminate the ban that prevents insurers from assessing higher rates on people with preexisting medical conditions. As a reuslt, AARP and its partners want the Senate to start fresh with new legislation that protects patients from losing affordable insurance coverage.
"Healthcare remains a deeply personal concern for American families, and together we must seek solutions that help make healthcare more affordable," says AARP executive vice president Nancy LeaMond. "We're pleased to join these groups and raise our voices to call on the Senate to move in a different direction so that we can improve healthcare for Americans."
Meanwhile, the Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC) is pushing its own healthcare plan. Still, AMAC founder Dan Weber does not agree with AARP's methods.
"I think it's disgraceful," Weber tells OneNewsNow. "The only reason AARP is doing this is because they backed the original ObamaCare. Without AARP's backing, original ObamaCare never would have passed – and as you know, Obamacare is a failure."
Weber says there are still millions of people that have no insurance, years after the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a., ObamaCare) took effect.
"We were supposed to cover everybody," he continues. "In addition to premiums going sky high, in addition to many of us losing our healthcare, in addition to not being able to keep our doctor, in addition to all the broken promises, AARP is doing this because they know they made a mistake – and now this is some crazy way they're trying to make up for it."
AMAC's Plan 1 seeks to "remove restrictions on Health Savings Accounts (HSA) to allow more people to use them as they see fit, return control of healthcare back to state and patient control, and drive down the costs of healthcare."
"As healthcare reform is now in the Senate's hands, AMAC will continue to work with Senate Leadership and the administration to make seniors' voices heard and to hold Republicans accountable to deliver on their promises to repeal and replace ObamaCare."
In response to AARP's efforts, Jim Martin of 60 Plus Association describes them as "rascals of the highest order."
"Senator Alan Simpson [R-Wyoming] investigated them about 15 years ago for making excessive profits on the backs of seniors, and I think it's time they [investigated] that again," says Martin.
Martin says AARP has "cornered the market" on Medi-gap supplemental insurance plans and is fearful it may be left out of the plans for the American Health Care Act.
"They're looking out for their financial bottom line, to the detriment of seniors," he continues. "So when they talk about an age-tap on seniors, it's hypocrisy at its worst."
Martin acknowledges that 60 Plus "reluctantly" said the American Health Care Act is not the best plan going forward – "But we did say it's a step in the right direction knowing that it was going to go to the Senate side," he continues. "We are going to be talking to a bunch of Republican senators as they are right now looking at their own plan trying to come up with an improvement if you will."
According to The Washington Examiner, AARP is targeting Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan of Alaska, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Cory Gardner of Colorado, Joni Ernest and Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Dean Heller of Nevada, Rob Portman of Ohio, Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker of Tennessee, and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia.
OneNewsNow received the following statement from Senator Grassley:
"Senators have studied the House bill and listened to many interested individuals and groups and are now writing the Senate's own bill. Senator Grassley will study the final Senate bill when it's ready. The protection of people with pre-existing conditions, no lifetime or annual caps, and the protection of mental health parity are important to him as the discussion moves along. The need to help people facing the consequences of ObamaCare's unaffordability and collapse is pressing. These people include the 72,000 Iowans who will have ObamaCare subsidies but nowhere to buy insurance through ObamaCare this fall."
Groups partnering with AARP include the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association, the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, the Federation of American Hospitals and the March of Dimes.