AARP prez inadvertently makes case against ObamaCare 

AARP was one of the biggest backers of ObamaCare, but on Friday the group’s president seemed to undercut one of the central elements of the national health care law.

Despite polls consistently showing older Americans more opposed to Obama’s national health care plan than any other age group, AARP lobbied for it. The group could stand to rake in an additional $166 million in 2014 alone as a result of the law, according to a House GOP report released ahead of the hearing.

The reason why is that the new law slashed payments to Medicare Advantage, the publicly subsidized private plans within the Medicare program, meaning that many seniors are now likely to seek MediGap supplemental insurance, where AARP happens to have a 34 percent market share.

Asked about AARP’s support for ObamaCare in spite of the cuts to Medicare Advantage, Lee Hammond, AARP’s president said the group had always opposed the program because it subsidized private companies.

When asked if AARP supports the ability of people to choose their own programs, an opportunity Medicare Advantage provides, Hammond responded, “We absolutely believe people should be able to choose programs, we just don’t think they should be subsidized.”

Yet the central element of the new health care law is the insurance exchanges that allow individuals to chose among private policies -- for which they’re provided  government subsidies.

The difference is, Medicare Advantage, whatever its flaws, was intended to add a private element to a government program, yet the insurance exchanges are expanding the government’s role in the private sector. And of course, "choice" is questionable given that the government will mandate what the supposedly private policies in the exchanges will have to cover.

About The Author

Staff Report

Staff Report

A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
Pin It

More by Staff Report

Latest in Nation

© 2019 The San Francisco Examiner

Website powered by Foundation