The social media giant Facebook recently started curating content in its “Coronavirus Information Center” in order to provide Americans with the latest news on COVID-19 from reputable sources.
But since the purpose of the platform is to showcase content from its most trusted providers, we have a question —Why is AARP included?
AARP is far from a reliable source of information, and by their own admission, they are not accountable to seniors. As we previously wrote:
A judge in Washington, DC recently dismissed a class action lawsuit against the AARP brought by seniors who felt the organization was not acting in their best interests. However, the arguments that AARP made to obtain that dismissal will likely shock its members.
Lawyers for AARP responded that there is no requirement for the AARP to “act with the interests of [members] in mind.” The members who purchased the coverage also argued that AARP has a “mission to serve as ‘an unbiased advocate’ for seniors.” AARP’s response? “Neither of these theories passes muster.”
AARP attorneys further argued that “The relationship between a member and a membership organization is not one of ‘trust or confidence’ that creates a fiduciary duty” and that membership “does not ‘transcend an ordinary business’ relationship.”
Why would AARP make these damaging admissions in court? The answer is simple: to protect their gravy train.
The tax-exempt AARP was paid nearly $939 million in corporate royalties in 2018; much of this from a single corporation—UnitedHealth Group (UHG), the nation’s largest health insurance company.
AARP often acts in the best interests of their corporate sponsors at the expense of seniors. They opposed Medicare reforms that would apply large discounts on drugs directly to patient’s bills at their local pharmacies. Instead, health insurers and PBMs (like UnitedHealth and OptumRX) currently keep these discounts for themselves.
If AARP is — by, again, its own admission — legally unaccountable to its core constituency of America’s seniors, why should anyone trust the information that they post online?
And if AARP isn’t accountable to seniors, whose interests are they representing? Those of their corporate sponsors.