Commitment to Seniors Issues Updated Report Exposing AARP’s Financial Alliance with UnitedHealth & Conflicts of Interest with AARP’s Own Members
Washington, D.C.—American Commitment is releasing an updated report to educate policymakers and the public regarding AARP’s financial relationships with large for-profit corporations such as UnitedHealth, the nation’s largest health insurance company. The CommitmentToSeniors.org initiative first launched last year features original research exploring AARP’s systemic financial ties to UnitedHealth, frequently updated content as health care policy debates impacting seniors intensify in Congress and numerous state legislatures, and activist tools to make it easy for citizens to tell inform elected officials when they believe AARP is speaking for its corporate partners—not for seniors.
“This updated report clearly demonstrates that AARP remains little more than a marketing scam for its big corporate sponsors—like UnitedHealth and its wholly-owned OptumRx pharmacy middleman business,” said Phil Kerpen, president of American Commitment. “AARP supported Obamacare despite overwhelming opposition from seniors. And now AARP has emerged as one of the most vocal supporters of Nancy Pelosi’s prescription drug plan and other government price setting measures, which would impose price controls, restrictions on seniors’ access to lifesaving drugs, reduce incentives for new innovations, and give more decision-making authority to government bureaucrats and big insurance companies certain to benefit from a windfall. Seniors deserve better than AARP, and need to know the truth regarding its financial connections.”
The updated new study, “How AARP Puts Profits over Patients—And Principles,” was commissioned by American Commitment as part of its Commitment to Seniors initiative and conducted by Juniper Research Group CEO Chris Jacobs. In the special report, Jacobs contends that AARP remains an exceptionally profitable non-profit organization that represents and sells supplemental Medicare polices for the health insurance industry, most notably UnitedHealth.
As before, Jacobs’ report further questions longstanding concerns that AARP’s public policy positions are being driven as a result of their financial relationships with corporations like UnitedHealth rather than being in the best interest of senior Americans. The report argues: “Some Americans might think of AARP, formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons, as a membership and advocacy organization. However, the reality has proven far different. AARP has grown into a marketing and sales firm with a public policy advocacy group on the side. And AARP’s prime source of tax-free revenue from that marketing operation comes from its relationship with UnitedHealthGroup, the nation’s largest health insurer.”
Ultimately, the report renews calls for Congress to investigate AARP’s dealings: “Congress has investigated AARP and its financial dealings on more than one occasion. It should do so again, and determine whether any legislative and/or regulator actions—requiring AARP to disclose its financial conflicts to seniors when they apply for Medigap coverage, for instance—can protect AARP’s members from the organization’s unholy alliance with UnitedHealthGroup.”
The entire special report can be viewed online at:
American Commitment is dedicated to restoring and protecting our nation’s commitment to free markets, economic growth, Constitutionally-limited government, property rights, and individual freedom. American Commitment engages in critical public policy fights over the size and intrusiveness of government through direct advocacy, strategic policy analysis, and grassroots mobilization. Visit us online at www.AmericanCommitment.org
Juniper Research Group is a consulting and analytics firm based in Washington, DC, led by CEO Chris Jacobs, a noted policy analyst and author whose opinions and work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Politico and other national news platforms. Jacobs previously served as a Senior Policy Analyst for the Heritage Foundation and the Congressional Joint Economic Committee, as well as a policy advisor to Members of Congress on Capitol Hill. He is the author of “The Case Against Single Payer.” More about Juniper Research Group can be found online at www.JuniperResearchGroup.com.