Letter: The truth behind AARP’s push for price controls
Kerpen writes, "While AARP maintains that it merely supports Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s Medicare “negotiation” plan because it wants to lower seniors’ drug costs, that simply isn’t the case."
Terry Wilcox’s op-ed highlighting AARP’s apparent conflict of interest with insurance giants brings much-needed attention to the real reason behind the AARP’s support for price controls in President Joe Biden’s spending bill.
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While AARP maintains that it merely supports Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s Medicare “negotiation” plan because it wants to lower seniors’ drug costs, that simply isn’t the case. In reality, the organization’s true motive is maintaining its billion-dollar relationship with UnitedHealthcare. UHC pays AARP about three times more revenue than the “senior advocacy” organization earns from its member dues. So, it should be no surprise that AARP is pushing for policies that benefit big insurance—even at the expense of seniors.
Medicare “negotiation” is a false description of the proposed scheme in Build Back Better. If manufacturers disagree with the price set by the government Washington, they will be slapped with a 95% excise tax, giving them no choice but to comply. That's not negotiation.
AARP doesn’t want you to know that such a system would inevitably result in dozens of fewer lifesaving and life-enhancing drugs being developed and made available to seniors. And the cost savings go to big insurance companies like AARP's corporate partners and to politicians, to drain out of Medicare and divert to new spending programs.
Furthermore, AARP opposes direct discounts at the point of sale when seniors pay for their medicines, as former President Trump proposed. You can bet if they honestly polled their members on that proposal, they’d likely find their members would widely support it.
AARP clearly doesn’t have its members’ best interests at heart. You can learn more at our website www.CommitmenttoSeniors.org .
Phil Kerpen is the president of American Commitment, a policy advocacy organization.
This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.