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Nearly half of AARP's income is from kickbacks from insurance companies

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nichomachus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 08:16 AM
Original message
Nearly half of AARP's income is from kickbacks from insurance companies
I quit AARP when they backed the Medicare giveaway to drug companies and insurance companies -- aka Part D Medicare. They claimed at the time "It's a good first step," which is what they always say when they're selling us a steaming pile of shit. However, can anyone point me to any effort toward the "next step?" Thanks, I thought so.

AARP makes hundreds of millions from insurers it endorses

NEW YORK - Arthur Laupus joined AARP because he thought the nonprofit senior citizen advocacy group would make his retirement years easier. He signed up for an auto insurance policy endorsed by AARP, believing the advertising that said he would save money.

He didn't. When Laupus, 71, compared his car insurance rate with a dozen other companies, he found he was paying twice the average. Why? One reason, he learned, was because AARP was taking a cut out of his premium before sending the money to Hartford Financial Services Group, the provider of the coverage.

Laupus stumbled onto something that many members of the world's largest seniors' organization don't know: The group, formerly called American Association of Retired Persons, collects hundreds of millions of dollars annually from insurers who pay for AARP's endorsement of their policies.

The insurance companies build the cost of these so-called royalties and fees, which amounted to $497.6 million in 2007, into the premiums they charge AARP members, according to AARP's consolidated financial statement for that year.

AARP uses the royalties and fees to fund about half the expenses that pay for activities such as publishing brochures about health care and consumer fraud - as well as for paying down the $200 million bond debt that funded the association's marble and brass-studded Washington headquarters.

In addition, AARP holds clients' insurance premiums for as long as a month and invests the money, which added $40.4 million to its revenue in 2007.

"At the end of the day, it's all about fattening the coffers of the organization," says Thomas Orecchio, who was chairman of the Arlington Heights, Ill.-based National Association of Personal Financial Advisors until September. AARP, he says, is sponsoring insurance for its members at inflated prices.

"It's the dirty little secret," he says.

During the past decade, royalties and fees have made up an increasing percentage of AARP's income, rising to 43 percent of its $1.17 billion in revenue in 2007 from 11 percent in 1999, according to AARP data.


Universal Single-Payer Healthcare -- the only thing that will work. Period. Anything else is a scam to enrich the insurance companies and the medical-industrial complex. And if you believe the "It's a first step" or "It's better than nothing" scams, you're a fool.
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RaleighNCDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 09:38 AM
Response to Original message
1. I had the same epiphany -
I joined, paid my fee and got my little card, and EVERY piece of mail I got from them from that time on was touting some kind of insurance.

Then, they back the pharma plan that offered little to nothing to seniors, but a huge windfall for the pharma companies while PREVENTING the government from negotiating pharma costs for medicare.

I saw the light, and tore up my card. I was going to mail it to them with a note of explanation, but didn't want to waste the stamp.
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nichomachus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. I demanded my money back
And they gave it to me . . . . All $20 or whatever, but I was so pissed, I wanted them to know how pissed I was.
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wryter2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 10:24 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. I sent a nasty note back in their postage paid envelope
Right after they backed Bush's prescription rip-off, I took one of their invitations to join, scrawled "thanks for screwing over the seniors," and put it into their envelope and sent it back. They had to pay the postage.
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pipi_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #6
14. That's when we quit too
and we told them why...but we're still getting those stupid letters and temporary membership cards in the mail.

Maybe it's time to send their shit back to them on their own money
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Pastiche423 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 04:50 PM
Response to Reply #6
17. I sent a note to them as well
But mine was not as polite as yours. I turned fifty after the November 25, 2003 bill they sponsored passed, that ripped off seniors.

I stayed up until 3 am PDT waiting for that fucking gavel to fall.


AAARP is nothing but a scam!
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 09:43 AM
Response to Original message
2. That was the day they became just another insurance company shill
I am off the mailing list and I view EVERYTHING they do gimlet-eyed. .

Especially that hybrid donkey/elephant...
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SheWhoMustBeObeyed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #2
15. Yes, *****especially***** that hybrid donkey/elephant
"Gimlet-eyed" exactly describes my reaction the first time I saw one of those ads.

I don't trust any marketing that pushes as hard as AARP does. I spend more time tearing up their junk...
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robcon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 10:10 AM
Response to Original message
4. I know someone who worked at AARP.
Selling ads in their magazine, and selling licensing deals on the AARP name seemed to occupy the company more than anything.

They've cheapened their name.
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Greybnk48 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 10:13 AM
Response to Original message
5. I quit AARP when you quit. It's not the organization it was
when it first started out, unfortunately.
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Phred42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 10:29 AM
Response to Original message
7. I didn't join in the first place because of their Medicate Bill support
Edited on Fri Dec-05-08 10:30 AM by Phred42
and I still have not joined
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Mnemosyne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 10:34 AM
Response to Original message
8. AARP has been stalking me since Dec. 2007. I turned 50 in March 2008. n/t
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Gin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 10:40 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. I quit in protest too, and they refunded my money!
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alstephenson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 11:27 AM
Response to Original message
10. Ditto here. eom
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 11:30 AM
Response to Original message
11. I'm shocked. Shocked, I tell you!
Look at their history.

Look at their intensive recruiting.

Look at their positions on issues.

Look at their ownership.

Look, first and foremost, at their "product".

They are an insurance agency with a twist of lime.
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TexasObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 11:39 AM
Response to Original message
12. ever since AARP backed the GOP, I haven't given them a thought.
If it was truly a decent organization for seniors, it would be fine. But it's a tool of GOP tools.
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 11:54 AM
Response to Original message
13. Word!
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ljm2002 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 02:15 PM
Response to Original message
16. I never trusted them...
...to start with, they sent a heavy-duty promotional signup package seemingly the very minute I turned 50 years old. I had never heard of them before. It irritated me - I'm pretty sure the majority of us don't retire at 50 and yet their name implies (rather strongly) that it's an association for retired people.

Then of course they endorsed that Medicare steaming pile of crap, which just iced it for me.

So I am not in the least bit surprised to see about their kickbacks.

Probably I've been cutting off my nose to spite my face -- I know there are discounts to be had as a member -- but dammit I don't like doing business with people or organizations that I don't trust.
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lefthandedskyhook Donating Member (340 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 08:40 AM
Response to Original message
18. Thom Hartmann brings this up often
AARP is in the insurance business and that's where their real interests are. The deception is that they pretend to be primarily interested in senior advocacy.

Thanks for spreading the truth!
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a kennedy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 09:08 AM
Response to Original message
19. ditto nichomachus
Edited on Sat Dec-06-08 09:08 AM by a kennedy
I quit AARP when they backed the Medicare giveaway to drug companies and insurance companies -- aka Part D Medicare too. I watched that vote in congress until d*mn near 2:00AM and the son's a b*tches passed it in the dead of night......but I digress, I agree with you on the single payer, ONLY WAY TO GO. edit to correct grammar
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NoAmericanTaliban Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 10:36 AM
Response to Original message
20. Ironic one of the DU ads for this page is for the Medicare Plan endorsed by AARP
They are basically a front for the insurance business.

Anytime you get mail from AARP sent it back to them in their pre-paid envelope. Stuff it full of other junk you get in the mail. I do that with any GOP mail I get.

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