Bye, AARP

The American Association of Retired Persons announced today that it is supporting the Democratic House health care legislation

The reason? According to the AARPBulletintoday

baby.jpg

Waiting for grandma's health care bill to arrive

 AARP Chief Executive A. Barry Rand said  the organization supports the
House bill over other proposals because the measure does more to lower
drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries,
strengthen Medicare and bar insurance companies from denying people
coverage because of their health or age. The bill also would also lower
premiums for Americans ages 50 to 64 who have to buy insurance in the
private market and create a long-term care insurance program.

Bonnie Cramer, chair of AARP's volunteer advisory board, said one key
factor in the organization's decision to support the House bill was
that it won't add to the national deficit. "Our members are worried
about financial security for their children and grandchildren," she
said.

These are two reasons that I'm not renewing my AARP membership. First, AARP is basically an interest group--one of the nation's most powerful--whose guiding principle is "me, me, me." Seniors constitute one of the nation's most selfish lobbies. Senior discounts here, free transit rides there....there's no end to it.

Second, when did Ms. Cramer arrive from her planet? She asserts that the bill wouldn't add to the national deficit, clearly an arguable point, if not utter nonsense. 'Our members are worried about the financial security for their children and grandchildren," she said. If they truly did, they would oppose this budget buster.

This is from a senior (who's in the doughnut hole), and one who is thankful for medicare and the other boons the nation has granted to me. But, please, let's not push anymore of the tab for our benefits on to the ensuing generations. While outrageously pretending that we're not.

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  • Sorry, but here's another shoot-from-the-hip assertion.. First, AARP is no more "selfish" than any other vested interest group, (ahh, that's sorta what vested means!). Second, I have a real problem with anyone who speaks with such authority as to claim they really understand this bill (being authoritarian usually just means being predisposed!).

    However, it's your right to speak out. Only do you ever wonder if the 1st amendment has now become so rampant and so manipulated that all most of us are doing with it is shedding lots of heat with very very little light??

  • In reply to jackspatafora:

    Precisely, Jack. The part about shoot from the hip. How can the AARP jump in and virtually overnight endorse a 1,000-plus page bill. Did they read it all? Did they have 1,000 people read one page each and report back? This whole thing as gone beyond silly to and insult to the democratic process. I suppose you have read the entire bill and can point to every possible land mind in it. Unless, of course, you're so trusting that you think there are no land mines in the bill.

    As far as selfish goes, my point was that the AARP represents one of the most selfish generations in my memory, and I'm in it. Did you happen to notice the whining when they (we) weren't going to get our cost-of-living increase, when we are in a deflationary period? They (we) should be happy that we're staying even. Oh, I forgot, Obama wants to send us each a $250 check, which for some of them (us) will amount to more than a 3 percent or whatever cost of living increase.

  • In reply to jackspatafora:

    So I guess we just forget about discussing this bill and just leave it only up to the "experts" (i.e. the people that wrote this thing) to decide our fate? Great, let's give congress a free pass on this one. "Guys, we trust you'll do what's best. We just don't have time to read the bill and nobody's writing anything on it because the media hasn't read the entire thing either." Let me ask you, how do you suppose the public educate themselves regarding a bill that represents 1/6th of our economy? Read the whole thing? That's part of the problem with this silly thing, nobody knows. If the republicans tried pushing through such a proposal, with such unknowns, the liberal media would have a field day.

  • In reply to jackspatafora:

    Is jackspat continuing his campaign that the Constitution means nothing, so long as he gets Obama/Pelosi/Reed health reform?

  • In reply to jackspatafora:

    Look guys -- I respect both the Constitution and your right to be skeptical about a 1000-page Democratic bill. But lets think about this >>

    * The Constitution creates a government concerned with the "welfare of the people." From both a moral and historical perspective, that can't exclude the government's responsibility for its citizens health (very much like it does with water, meat, produce & drug inspections)

    * Every bill -- Democrat, Republican, bi-partisan -- is long and complicated. That's not unique to this situation. What is unique is that we are still the only advanced nation in the world without a national health plan, while generating some of the poorest results in sight

    So, gentlemen, why are you and the GOP re-playing the very same arguments you did with Social Security in the 30s and Medicare in the 60s? I'd guess you, like me, have benefited enormously from these highly moral commitments by our government. Frankly, as a cancer survivor, I'd have otherwise been dead about 10 years ago!

  • In reply to jackspatafora:

    Jack, you're still missing my point. Whether or not a moral imperative weighs on government to provide health insurance or whether the Constitution allows it, the more immediate question remains: Does this bill best serve the commonweal, or are there other, perhaps better, alternatives to consider. Seeing that the Democrats have excluded any discussion of the Republican or conservative alternatives the body politic might never know.

  • In reply to jackspatafora:

    A valid riposte, Dennis, but there IS a Republican bill that has emerged from the House. Almost as long...just as controversial ...mostly a modification of the current packages with very sparse extension of coverage.

    Here's what I think. Designs and details aside, any bill coming out of Congress is going to have to run the gauntlet of a right-leaning mood in the nation. You and others of your persuasion may be riding the crest of one of our perennial I-hate-government attitudes. As a theoretical democracy, I suppose that validates your position. But my son is a doctor and my daughter a nurse -- their comment is there IS no "system" to reform, because actually right no there IS no system!

    Result...? The Dems will get a bill, but it will be so patch-worked that in the end the "commonweal" may not be served very much at all. 'Tis the way of the world. But I respect your doggedness.

  • In reply to jackspatafora:

    This seems like a fair comment. My main concern is that the way this bill is being handled--i.e. five versions in the House; Baucus says that the public option is out; Reid (sorry for the prior misspelling) then saying it is back in; all the concern about Rollie being the 60th vote they need--is that, at a minimum, the unintended consequences have not been thought through. I only take the AARP endorsement is that they were somehow convinced that Medicare wasn't threatened.

    You may also be right that there is no system, and also in implying that there probably will not be a system, since the reported thrust of the bill (and the part previously questioned) is that all must either buy insurance or pay the excise tax. The other government programs don't work that way, nor do I believe that "government health care" works that way in other countries.

    But, at least now this discussion isn't on the level of whether the Constitution mandates legislating morality. I now see your interest, but someone could as easily say that it is immoral to compel a 20 year old to buy coverage (especially from a private carrier) or pay the excise tax, penalty, or whatever it will be called. The only answer to that question is that the policy issues are for Congress to decide, provided that the result comes within the Commerce Clause or similar justification within the Constitution.

  • In reply to jackspatafora:

    You've got me here. Can you tell me the bill number? Thanks.

  • In reply to DennisByrne1:

    Mark Kirk has been saying on the radio for the past month that he has a different plan, and the following is apparently a reference to it:

    http://www.cdobs.com/archive/syndicated/kirk-introduces-centrist-republican-alternative-to-pelosi-health-care-bill,84175

  • In reply to DennisByrne1:

    Well,I only hope the boys in Congress are dialoging as earnestly as we are. It's a historic point both constitutionally and morally. One fact remains indisputable -- we're still the only advanced nation in the world who has refused to bite this bullet.

    We probably won't be in a position to judge the results. That will be for our grand-children's generation....

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