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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 10:30 AM
Original message
AARP: Good? Bad? Indifferent?
Edited on Sun Jun-17-07 10:31 AM by Husb2Sparkly
They're supposedly the lobby for seniors. They do, in fact, work the Congress in support of their agenda.

They sell insurance

They sell other crap

They endorsed the drug prescription bill, even with that huge donut hole in it.

They have the largest single membership of seniors in any such organization.

Does anyone have any experience with them ... as a member ..... as the relative of a member?

Sparkly and I both qualify for membership (I admit it freely cuz I look old ..... her ... not so much).

What can you tell us about the AARP? Their politics? Their service and benefits?
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LeighAnn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 10:33 AM
Response to Original message
1. Just another corporate entity pretending to help $enior$
A wolf in sheeps' clothing. Drinking the blood of trusting souls that don't know better :(
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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 10:33 AM
Response to Original message
2. my parents had the sup insurance
and they thought it was pretty good. they traveled a lot and always used the discounts. my wife and i members but have`t used any of the benefits yet..i really do`t think it`s all that bad.
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 10:35 AM
Response to Original message
3. Their delta dental insurance sucks ass!
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IDemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 10:40 AM
Response to Reply #3
9. Explain? (I'm going to become my dentist's Christmas money next fall.)
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swag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 10:36 AM
Response to Original message
4. I worked for five years in the legislative division in the late 80s, early 90s.
Their issues analysts and lobbyists were very committed to helping seniors, did a lot of good on Capitol Hill and prevented a lot of legislative initiatives that would have damaged most seniors. Most recently, they were leaders in stopping Bush's massive Social Security privatization rip-off scheme.

I will join as a member when I'm 50.
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #4
18. Didn't they originally support it until membership started to drop precipitously due to that stand?
Edited on Sun Jun-17-07 10:54 AM by BrklynLiberal
That was certainly my understanding of their position on the privatization of Social Security. They joined that battle very late in the game.
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swag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 11:06 AM
Response to Reply #18
22. That's untrue.
Edited on Sun Jun-17-07 11:14 AM by swag
They were anti-privatization right out of the gate, and were leading the charge against it from the start.

on edit, just one reference: http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2005-01-24-aarp...

They have had some botches, though, like the Catastrophic Health Care act of 1988, where membership had to turn them around.
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 11:23 AM
Response to Reply #22
25. Yes. I realize it was the cheaper drugs for Medicare they opposed.
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swag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 11:28 AM
Response to Reply #25
27. Yeah, they blew it on that one.
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #22
41. which was kinda ironic
since Bush's plan promised to shield their members - those over 55. I am glad they opposed it, but their doing so did not seem logical.

My take on AARP is that since they have a lobby, the legislative arena is tilted their way, and against younger workers, who have no equivalent AAWP. I find that examples abound. My city for example, will pay the water bill of everybody who is a) under a certain income and b) over 55. Thus I am 45, make $10,000 a year and pay my own water bill, whereas a senior who makes $18,000 a year would get a subsidy. Homestead credit, food sales tax credit, are eligible for people over 55. People under 55 with lower income - get nothing. Kansas legislature just voted to make social security income tax exempt, even for people making over $55,000 a year. Way to shift the tax burden from non-working older people, to lower income younger working people. Thanks AARP.
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IDemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 10:37 AM
Response to Original message
5. Turning 50 Thursday and just got my card in the mail yesterday
I have yet to experience the benefits but am looking forward to a discount here and there.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #5
30. Isn't that creepy that they know your birthday? nt
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kath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 05:48 PM
Response to Reply #30
45. It *is* creepy how many people know your birthdate, And your kids' birthdates -
my teens have started to get all kinds of recruiter mail (even though they're homeschooled - it can't be blamed on NCLB), and stuff from test-prep companies, companies that charge big bucks to "help" you get financial aid, etc, etc.
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spanone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 10:37 AM
Response to Original message
6. When they refused to fight for the best prescription bill I told them to fuck off.
another 'lobby' group.

I will not participate.
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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 10:37 AM
Response to Original message
7. Indifferent but my wife's a believer
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dmosh42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 10:46 AM
Response to Reply #7
16. Not so good, but I finally joined...
I joined about two years ago, since some of the leadership changed. They seemed more interested in keeping the corporations and conservatives happy for some years, and I had felt that for their voting power, they didn't get much in return. You're probably not in retirement category yet, but I belong to another group dedicated to preserving benefits of retirees, and have been pretty actively lobbying for things important to seniors. Their website is 'nlrn.org'. Might be worth a checkout!
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 10:38 AM
Response to Original message
8. Co-opted. Defanged.
Not terribly useful
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fightthegoodfightnow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 10:41 AM
Response to Original message
10. AARP - Preys on the Elderly
My folks signed me up for AARP as a birthday 'joke'.

Several months prior, I finally was able to opt out of all the junk mail you usually get by opting out of direct marketing pieces on
https://www.optoutprescreen.com

For two months, I got NO junk mail. It was *GREAT*.

........then I was signed up, against my wishes, for AARP membership.

Within days, I opted out of their direct marketing pieces on their web sight.

Too late!!!!

To this day, I still get more junk mail than ever, all coming from AARP 'partners'. I think the AARP engages in business practices that prey on seniors and the elderly.
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Le Taz Hot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 10:42 AM
Response to Original message
11. A shill for the insurance companies
and their "discounts" are a scam. You can find better ones, particularly in auto insurance and travel, everywhere.

Their support for the prescription drug debacle was unforgivable. They lost thousands of members over that. No thanks.
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fightthegoodfightnow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 10:43 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. Exactly
Beware.

They are not what they seem to be.
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EST Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 10:42 AM
Response to Original message
12. I was paid three years ahead on aarp dues until their support for
the destruction of medicare became evident and their actual contempt for the wishes and direction from their members-just like that of the US government for us peons-showed up so clearly.
At that point, after many phone calls to them and a lot of cussing and discussing, I canceled my membership and have not renewed. Like the rest of the insurance companies, they are living off the slender fat on this lean hog and providing very little in return for their gluttony.
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DURHAM D Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 10:43 AM
Response to Original message
13. Don't you get travel discounts?
Seriously, after they sold out for the drug prescription bill I think a rival group started up.

I know that my parents have some sort of policy with them - I think it is supplemental income if you are actually in hospital. It has paid out without hassle. However, the policy is not primary - it is like one of six medical related policies they carry.
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UTUSN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 10:43 AM
Response to Original message
15. Thousands of us quit over their endorsement of Shrub's drug deal (sic)
Their president at that time (don't know about now) was the dude behind the "(blank) and Louise" commercials that torpedoed the CLINTON health plan.
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 10:56 AM
Response to Reply #15
19. Right.. I knew they were on the wrong side of one of the important battles..and I also cancelled my
membership over that.
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AnnieBW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 10:47 AM
Response to Original message
17. My parents are both active at the lower levels
My Dad is quite active at the State level in PA, and my Mom does a lot with the local stuff. At the lower levels, they're honestly trying to help. But I think at the National level, they've sold out. There's a lot of internal controversy about that right now, according to my Dad.
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fed-up Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 10:59 AM
Response to Original message
20. Old money - finances of the American Association of Retired Persons-6 page story
Edited on Sun Jun-17-07 11:02 AM by fed-up
edited to add that I cross-posted this in a new thread in GD

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1316/is_n6_v24/a...

Old money - finances of the American Association of Retired Persons
Why the mighty AARP spends as much furnishing its offices as it does on
programs to help the elderly
Christopher Georges

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) receives
approximately $75 million annually from the federal government to run a
pair of job training and placement programs for older Americans--two of
the largest of their kind. A recent phone call to AARP's Washington,
D.C., headquarters to inquire about enrollment in the programs led to
the following:

The caller, after unsuccessfully attempting to explain the programs to
two befuddled receptionists, was bounced to Jack Everett, an official
in the organization's Senior Employment Office, who cheerfully
explained that AARP offers no federally funded job placement or
training programs. Everett suggested calling the Department of Labor
(the agency that pays AARP $52 million to run one of the programs) for
help. He also offered other ideas, like, "Try the phone book under the
senior citizens section," and suggested contacting the National Council
on Senior Citizens, another, smaller advocacy group for older
Americans. He even threw in some job-training advice: "You'll need a
resume. That's always a good first step...."

Everett's not alone. Similar inquiries at AARP offices in major cities
in 16 states turned up like responses: Only six of the offices were
aware that these programs even exist, although AARP literature boasts
that they're offered at 108 sites across the nation. One office
suggested calling Elder Temps, a privately run job-placement firm.
Another advised calling the Jewish Council for the Aging. Several
others suggested enrolling in an AARP job search workshop and
seminar--for a fee of $35.

...snip-article is 6 pages long-a must read for a true picture of AARP


COPYRIGHT 1992 Washington Monthly Company
COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 11:15 AM
Response to Reply #20
23. That article is 15 years old ....
... I'd say it is unreliable to consider that as anything more than an historical look back.
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 11:04 AM
Response to Original message
21. Check out the Alliance for Retired Americans...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alliance_for_Retired_Ameri...

The Alliance for Retired Americans (ARA) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of retired trade union members affiliated with the AFL-CIO. The organization was originally known as the National Council for Senior Citizens, but changed its name in 2001.

As of 2006, ARA had 3.2 million members and was active in 26 states.
<snip>

NCSC was instrumental in passing Medicare. It back a number of (admittedly abortive) legislative efforts, held rallies (including one gigantic, nationally-televised event at Madison Square Garden, organized letter-writing campaigns, and attacked Medicare's opponents by bombarding them with mail and picketing their offices. The assassination of President Kennedy in November 1963 proved fortuitous for Medicare's legislative chances. President Lyndon B. Johnson considered old age health insurance to be a much higher priority than Kennedy.<4>

A shift in NCSC's strategy proved crucial in helping to build support for Medicare as well. NCSC began a major education campaign among middle-aged people, working to raise awareness of how burdensome hospital bills for the elderly could be. Medicare's passage in the U.S. Senate was very close, and NCSC's efforts were considered instrumental in its enactment.<4><6>

<snip>
Since its relaunch in 2001, ARA has been very active politically. It made a large number of political endorsements in the 2002 mid-term elections, and fought against the Republican-endorsed Medicare prescription drug benefit, tax cut for the wealthy, and President George W. Bush's Social Security reform plan.

ARA has also clashed with AARP. ARA has often said it is not a competitor with AARP, and that it wishes to work in cooperation with the much-larger seniors' group. However, during the 2003 debate over the Medicare prescription drug benefit, ARA broke with AARP and publicly criticized AARP's leaders for being out of touch with seniors and caving in to financial incentives (AARP offers a number of health insurance products, some of which might have suffered had a more generous prescription drug benefit been enacted). More recently, ARA has taken to calling itself the voice of "retired workers," suggesting that AARP's membership is wealthy and that the organization does not fight for middle-class or poor seniors.<16>
<snip>
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fightthegoodfightnow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 11:23 AM
Response to Reply #21
26. AARP - Whose Interests are they Protecting? There own!
And that about says it all:

AARP offers a number of health insurance products, some of which might have suffered had a more generous prescription drug benefit been enacted.


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Solo_in_MD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 11:22 AM
Response to Original message
24. Its not accountable to the membership, its actually a privately run corporation
I have a number of issues with their position over the years and they refuse to put them to a membership vote.
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Dinger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 11:36 AM
Response to Original message
28. AARP: Pushing Wheelchair-Bound Grannys & Grandpas Down Stairs For Decades
And proud of it!
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 11:38 AM
Response to Original message
29. I don't trust them, but the RNC hates them so much....
I'm not sure what to think.

A firm I worked with worked with the RNC to create a conservative lobbying group to compete with AARP. The RNC says AARP is run by veterans of the NEA and other teachers' lobbyists

But AARP has a degree of access to information - like your age - that I find disconcerting. And by just automatically sending you their magazine, etc. shows they have a TON of money. I don't know where they get it.

And their sell-out to the pharmaceutical lobby was VERY suspicious.

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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. The enemy of my enemy is NOT always my friend.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #31
34. That's exactly right. nt
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fightthegoodfightnow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #29
39. Just another Example of How the Left Lets the Right Define Us
I feel the same way about Clinton. The right hates her so much she can't be bad, even though I loathe her centrist position that seek to accomodate everyone and no one at the same time.
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rocktivity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 12:52 PM
Response to Original message
32. I joined for a year but didn't renew
Edited on Sun Jun-17-07 12:53 PM by rocknation
because, dammit, I'm just too young.

:headbang:
rocknation
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sutz12 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 12:56 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. Me, too, but I'm not "too youg"
:rofl:

I let it go because I got tired of all of the solicitation. I's like selling your personal info to a spammer.

I guess they do OK on some issues, but it sure looks like another money whore organization to me. :shrug:
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fightthegoodfightnow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #33
38. Spammers and Money Whores
You write: 'I let it go because I got tired of all of the solicitation. I's like selling your personal info to a spammer."

Those are great great words defining the organization..............SPAMMERS AND MONEY WHORE.
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Hubert Flottz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #32
35. I could have joined a loooooong time ago but...
I'm too young too!
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many a good man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 01:38 PM
Response to Original message
36. Satisfied member here
I know several people who have worked there or are still working there. AARP is consistently ranked among the top three most powerful lobbying groups in Washington and I'm greatly impressed by 99% of the issues they advocate for. I think most DUers would feel the same if they spent the time do some research.

Like most people I was enraged by AARP throwing their support behind the Prescription drug bill. On the other hand, it's something of a miracle to see Republicans initiate an entirely new entitlement program. AARP considers it flawed and supports changes, such as govt negotiating prices. They strongly oppose privatization of Social Security so we'll see if they move to take out the privatization parts of Medicare Part D.

It makes them look bad because their revenues have increased dramatically since passage of the bill. We'll see if they pour that money into advocacy now that there is a friendly Democratic Congress to work with. The fact of the matter is AARP started life as a place for helping poor retired teachers to band together for the purpose of getting volume-based discounts for health insurance back in the '50s. They were in the vanguard of getting Medicare passed in the sixties and have always been very vocal protectors of Social Security against the conservative onslaught.

They are currently working with SEIU and Business Roundtable to find solutions to the health care and retirement crises that threaten to destroy America. See http://www.aarp.org/issues/dividedwefail /

The discounts they offer are pretty good, but you can usually find better ones if you're willing to do the footwork.

AARP is a powerful actor on the stage and I would prefer to see progressives join up and make their voices heard rather than simply quitting it and tearing it down. Their forums are pretty lively and liberal. It would be fantastic if we can help guide it to achieve its goals of positive social change.
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fightthegoodfightnow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #36
37. AARP - Results?
Edited on Sun Jun-17-07 03:09 PM by fightthegoodfightnow
You sound like a mouthpiece for the AARP.

You write regarding the Prescription drug bill, 'AARP considers it flawed '

Of course, they were the ones who helped get it passed.

Your friends who are working on behalf of the retired persons will get better results working outside this organization. I'm not interested in tearing it down. I'm interested in getting better results (and by results I don't mean marketing practices that prey on the elderly).
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many a good man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 04:53 PM
Response to Reply #37
43. Better results
AARP is one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington. Saying you would get better results elsewhere is like saying voting third party will get us a better president.

In 1994 conservatives took full control over Washington and some compromise was necessary to get anything done. The tide is now finally turning and my friends are very optimistic.

Preying on the elderly? Hardly. They've lobbied tirelessly to stop the unscrupulous predators on the elderly and have gotten a lot of legislation passed. Preying on the affluent boomer$, maybe, but not on the poor elderly.
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fightthegoodfightnow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 08:49 PM
Response to Reply #43
47. You Obviously Don't Get the Junk Mail Their "Partners"
.......send their 'members.'
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Allyoop Donating Member (147 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 06:12 PM
Response to Reply #36
46. AARP
Another satisfied customer ---- ME! I bought their supplemental health care insurance "F" and have been quite pleased with what they cover that Medicare would leave to me. I take no prescription drugs so didn't sign up for the drug insurance from the government.

I too was dismayed that AARP went along with the drug plan - but the whole medical system of this country is FUBAR! I don't blame AARP for that. They do intend to keep lobbying to get it right.

I like the magazine and the monthly flyer and the Suduko and crossword puzzle online!

Do they take in a lot of money they could probably spend better? - probably, but the membership money is minimal and the supplemental insurance programs are in line if not better than Blue Cross which I hope to never have to deal with again. BC had dismal intake people. If you called you were on hold forever, given answers you knew could not be right, had to insist on speaking to a supervisor to get the straight scoop. BC tried to deny any claim I made and insisted on hiking my premium because of prior conditions although I had no record of needing intervention or medications for about 20 years before I applied.

It's like old home week when I call AARP and my questions are answered promptly and politely.

I have a discount card that gives me breaks at drug stores if I need a medication - and on specs, etc.

I like them!
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Pastiche423 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 03:14 PM
Response to Original message
40. In November 2003
they lost me forever.

I stayed up until 3 am my time (6 am their time), waiting to see if the gavel was ever going to drop on the Medicare bill.

AAARP sponsored the bill that has only hurt the uninsured/poor. In the weeks and months following the passage of the insane bill, I read the forum at AAARP. Everyone was royally pissed at their deceit and canceled their accounts.
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 03:18 PM
Response to Original message
42. I think they suck
to repeat post #41

My take on AARP is that since they have a lobby, the legislative arena is tilted their way, and against younger workers, who have no equivalent AAWP. I find that examples abound. My city for example, will pay the water bill of everybody who is a) under a certain income and b) over 55. Thus I am 45, make $10,000 a year and pay my own water bill, whereas a senior who makes $18,000 a year would get a subsidy. Homestead credit, food sales tax credit, are eligible for people over 55. People under 55 with lower income - get nothing. Kansas legislature just voted to make social security income tax exempt, even for people making over $55,000 a year. Way to shift the tax burden from non-working older people, to lower income younger working people. Thanks AARP.

I cannot, however, find the summary quote from "13th generation: abort, retry, ignore, delete?" but they lay it out very well. Generation X is getting screwed by the so-called 'greatest' generation.
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 05:47 PM
Response to Reply #42
44. Your post sounds more like a gripe against old people than the AARP
My parents worked their assess off their entire life and paid taxes. They never took a nickel from the government. When they retired (on a very low income - Social Security and my Dad's union pension, the company having pretty much welshed on what it was thought they would provide) they depended dearly on those modest subsidies. A tax credit or a tax exemption or a modest subsidy or a small discount meant a great deal to them. They paid their dues.

When my Mom died a few years ago, having out lived my Dad, she had a total income of $14,000. Thankfully she owned the house and the town gave seniors as many tax breaks and utility subsidies as possible. I GLADLY pay into the system that supports seniors. We literally owe our lives to them ..... yanno?
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 10:23 PM
Response to Reply #44
48. generally they paid much less in FICA taxes than we do too
What about a young person making $14,000? There are millions making that much or less. They don't own their houses. They pay $1000 in FICA taxes and then pay income taxes on their FICA taxes - that $1,000? It's taxable income. They pay rent, are often are trying to raise children, save money for a down payment, save money for college, and retirement.

It is the AARP that tilts the legislation their way, turns it into an us against them. I think things should be fair, and for a person making $10,000 to pay a subsidy to a person making $14,000 or $18,000 or $35,000 or more, does not seem fair to me, no matter how many dues the beneficiaries have supposedly paid. If a person making under $14,000 needs help, they need help whether they are under 55 or over 55.
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-17-07 10:44 PM
Response to Reply #48
49. Pray you make a gazillion before you retire so you never have to depend on such ......
..... programs when you retire.

I'm not saying this to be mean .... but you strike me as self centered and greedy.
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-18-07 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #49
50. that's the way the old people strike me - as self centered and greedy
It's greedy to be outraged when people with $50,000+ incomes get tax free income? That's what the Kansas legislature just passed - social security income is tax free, even for people with incomes over $50,000. As for what I will have to depend on, are you not hearing the news? All of those programs are going to be ended by the time I am 60. 'We can't afford it, because there are just too many boomers and not enough X-boxers. Tough beans, generation X'. Meantime, my dad has a tax-free pension of over $20,000 and net assets of over $700,000. Yeah that's fair. Except he might need another subsidy. The Kansas legislature has floated proposals to give seniors a break on their property taxes. Meantime, although 7.65% comes out of my salary for FICA and an automatic 4% for my pension, and both of those amounts are considered taxable income, and at $12,000 a year I will need a $600 payment to my IRA just to avoid federal income taxes. The programs for the elderly goto alot of people who are far from needy and the same breaks do not goto people under 55 with much lower incomes. How is it greedy to complain about such injustices? Why wouldn't progressives stand up for those with low incomes, regardless of age? Shame on me, just another greedy member of the working poor. :spank:
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-18-07 07:35 PM
Response to Reply #50
53. I think it is more than fair
I also know that $20,000 is not much of an income.
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-18-07 09:30 PM
Response to Reply #53
54. it's twice as much as $10,000
If I still know how to do math, and it's even more than that since there are no FICA taxes or retirement contributions taken out of it. Not to mention the assets, most of which are in the house. It could be sold and the home we grew up in (granted, which is now 30 years older) could be purchased for $100,000. 5% interest on the remaining $600,000 would be $30,000 a year income. Myself, I live in a 125 year old house that cost $35,000 (not that I am complaining - it IS paid for, after all).

How is it even fair, much less 'more than fair'? It sounds like slavery to me - 'I work, they eat.'
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-19-07 12:31 AM
Response to Reply #54
55. They worked, now it's your turn
and $20K is very close to the poverty level. I doubt many people could live comfortably on that.
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-19-07 03:05 AM
Response to Reply #55
56. I am not asking them to work
although 100 years ago, most did, I just think they should pay their fair share of taxes and utility bills, especially when they have high incomes and piles of assets. In 1999, 7.6 million, or 10.5% of, families lived on less than $15,000 a year. 5.36 million of them were headed by people under 55. 2.8 million of them were headed by people under 35. It's certainly no easier for a person under 55 to live on less than $15,000 than it is for people over 55, especially since they have not had a lifetime to accumulate assets, nor have they had the years of higher income which the retired person had before they retired. Then there are the 8.5 million families over age 55 which are making more than $50,000, and yet they get many of the same tax breaks and senior discounts, which the 3.2 million with income under $10,000 and age under 55 do not get.
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-19-07 03:11 AM
Response to Reply #56
57. I'm not sure if you're to be commended more for your compassion, or...
... for the deftness with which you navigate the troubled waters of inflation.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-19-07 09:08 AM
Response to Reply #56
58. They have been paying taxes for years and years
and many of those taxes pay for programs they don't use. Senior citizens cost us less money than most other demographic groups. They don't use our public schools yet they have paid more taxes than the younger generations to support the schools. My mother did not drive for the last ten years of her life yet her tax dollars still paid to maintain roads in her community.

We don't cherish our elderly here as they do in many other cultures. The least we can do is give them tax breaks.
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-19-07 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #58
59. I am not at all sure that they cost less or use less
Certainly there is no huge cut-off from 54 to 55 in services used, the way there is in tax breaks given. Our city has a Senior Citizen center, in a public building, and the Council on Aging, which is a County department, has a fleet of vans and cars. (Although I just found out that anybody over 18 can use the transportation services - who knew?) If they are not driving, quite often other people are using the roads - on their behalf, and since roads are supported by gas taxes, they are not paying the taxes for that either. Childless people, such as myself, are not using the schools either, but the schools are being used to educate the grandchildren of many elderly people.

What we really don't respect in this society is the working poor. Non-working richer people should not get breaks just because they are elderly. The FICA tax rate, for one, has gone from 4.5% when my dad started working in 1957 to 14.3% when I started working in 1986. Even in 1976 the rate was only 11.7% and then on only the first $15,300 in income, a cap my dad probably exceeded as a GS-12 (to be fair, GS-12s may be exceeding the cap today, except there is no cap for the 3.3% that goes to medicare). My dad, for most of his working life, was paying lower taxes than I am, and his retirement package was much more generous than what is available today. So the taxes they paid for years and years are not equivalent to what we pay today.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-19-07 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #59
60. Everyone benefits from good schools
That is a no brainer.
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RebelOne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-18-07 01:59 PM
Response to Original message
51. I don't know about their politics and don't really care.
I just know that insuring my car and mobile home through AARP saves me a lot of money. Plus, you can get discounts on many things.
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jack99999 Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-22-07 09:59 PM
Response to Reply #51
61. AARP uses same shady solicitation techniques it warns seniors about
Here is a letter I just sent to AARP:

In reading your Consumer Alert articles, I have become adept at spotting inaccurate ads that try to scare us seniors into buying something we don't need. I thought you should warn other members that there is a Auto Insurance mailing circulating that is titled" OFFICIAL NOTICE - AUTO INSURANCE PREMIUM ADJUSTMENT. But when you open the bright pink envelope, wondering what has happened to your insurance rate, you just see a bunch of advertising saying that you may be able to save a lot of money if you switch to the new company. This is false advertising, and the sort of thing you warn about regularly.

However, what makes this one a little special is that it is being sent by the AARP - HARTFORD AUTO INSURANCE PROGRAM, and your logo is right on the front page. This is the grossest commercialism mistake I have ever seen you make (other than supporting the idiotic bill that made it illegal for Medicare to negotiate drug prices). You people are commercial sell-outs, you associate with shady firms that use the same tactics that you condemn. And for your info, when I checked with Hartford, I found that I would save basically nothing if I switched to the AARP policy from State Farm. If I switch to GEICO, I would save nearly $400. So, you have aligned with a shady group that uses misleading tactics on seniors, and provides no savings either. Nice going. It will be interesting to see if you print this, which a non-profit group truly interested in protecting seniors should do, or just drop it to keep your business partners happy.
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-18-07 01:59 PM
Response to Original message
52. Craptacular. Them an NARAL.
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