Diary

The AARP doesn't give up

Like most people, I joined AARP thinking that it costs next to nothing and if I just use ONE discount in a year it more than paid for itself. I got the first year free courtesy of Walgreen’s if I recall correctly, then recently sent in a renewal.

Well I got so turned off after that Dallas debacle that I joined the tens of thousands who cancelled their membership. They ignored the first request but processed it the second time around, sending me back a looooong canned reply about how bipartisan the AARP is and how it’s sad that partisan rancor and myths are causing such problems.

Dear Xxxxxx,

We are sorry to hear you have decided to cancel your membership due
to health care reform. I have processed your cancellation and would
like to take this opportunity to dispel some of the myths regarding
AARP’s position and actions on health care reform.

As requested, I have cancelled membership number nnnnnnnnn.
However, you may still receive any materials that were prepared for
mailing before today’s date. Please allow 4-6 weeks for this
cancellation to fully process.

A refund of membership dues will be mailed separately and you should
receive it within the same timeframe indicated above.

If you are enrolled in any benefits, services or insurance through
AARP’s service providers, please contact them directly to ensure
continued eligibility. You may find their telephone numbers on our
Member Discounts and Services website at www.aarp.org/aarp_benefits
or call us toll-free at 1-888-OUR-AARP (1-888-687-2277) for
assistance.

We are STILL the same AARP that has been willing to work with both
sides of the aisle in our pursuit of advocacy that will protect
Medicare, hold down health care costs and ensure choices for our 40
million members and all Americans.

While we have worked with Republican and Democratic leaders to ensure
our 40 million members have the affordable health care choices they
deserve, AARP has not endorsed the House Tri-Committee Bill or the
Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Bill.

This year, we have been working with leaders of both parties to pass
essential, bipartisan legislation that will provide older Americans
access to affordable, quality health care. We are aggressively
working towards:

* protecting Medicare benefits;
* ending discrimination based on age or pre-existing conditions;
* lowering the costs of health care, including prescription drugs;
and eliminating waste, fraud and abuse.

Specifically, we have endorsed a variety of bipartisan bills that
will help lower the cost of health care and provide older Americans
with affordable choices (see below for specific bills). We are
working diligently to ensure these measures make it into the final
legislation.

Through Divided We Fail, AARP has brought together the business
community, labor and consumers to find common ground solutions and
change a political culture built on partisan bickering. Recently,
AARP, Business Roundtable, NFIB and SEIU have asked Senators Baucus
and Grassley, the Chairman and Ranking Member on the Senate Finance
Committee, to work together to bring down the costs of health care.

We are disappointed that an issue as important as health care reform
is subject to some of the partisan rancor that has blocked progress
in the past. However, we applaud those lawmakers on both sides of
the aisle who continue to work through their differences, reject
falsehoods about health reform and have made this issue a top
priority.

AARP will continue to aggressively work towards holding down health
care costs, protecting the relationship between doctors and their
patients and keeping Medicare strong for our 40 million members and
all Americans – regardless of the party in power.

Bipartisan Bills AARP Has Endorsed

* HR1558. Preexisting Condition Patient Protection Act
(Courtney/Ros-Lehtinen). This bill prohibits preexisting condition
exclusions in group health plans and health insurance coverage in the
group and individual markets.
* S979. Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP)
(Durbin/Lincoln/Snowe). This bill establishes a nationwide health
insurance purchasing pool for small businesses and the self-employed
that would offer a choice of private health plans and make health
coverage more affordable, predictable, and accessible.
* HR1427. Biosimilar/Biogeneric biological products (Waxman/Deal).
This bill provides for a pathway to create less-expensive biosimilar
biologic drugs.
* S726. Biosimilar/Biogeneric biological products (Schumer/Collins).
This bill provides for a pathway to create less-expensive biosimilar
biologic drugs.
* S1133. Empowering Medicare Patient Choices Act (Wyden/Gregg).
This bill establishes a pilot for shared decision making in Medicare.
* S975. Seniors and Taxpayers Obligation Protection Act
(Martinez/Cornyn). This bill would help to reduce fraud in Medicare.
* HR2560. Independence at Home Act (Markey/Smith). This
bill would give Medicare beneficiaries suffering from multiple
conditions access to coordinated care so they can remain in their
homes.
* HR2773. Medicare Transitional Care Act (Blumenauer/Boustany).
This bill would provide transitional care for Medicare beneficiaries
to avoid costly and painful hospital readmissions.
* S795. Elder Justice Act (Lincoln/Hatch). This bill provides the
tools to prevent, detect, treat, intervene in and prosecute elder
abuse.
* S434. Empowered at Home Act (Kerry/Grassley). This bill would
allow for home and community-based services for long-term care.
* S301. Physician Payment and Sunshine Act (Kohl/Grassley). This
bill provides for transparency in the relationship between physicians
and manufacturers of prescription drugs, medical devices and medical
supplies.
* S525. Pharmaceutical Market Access and Drug Safety Act
(Dorgan/Snowe). This bill would provide for the safe, legal
reimportation of prescription drugs from other countries, such as
Canada.
* HR1298. Pharmaceutical Market Access and Drug Safety Act
(Berry/Emerson). This bill would provide for the safe, legal
reimportation of prescription drugs from other countries, such as
Canada.

We have been working with leaders from both sides of the aisle for
many, many months, and we will continue to do so. We know that the
final package will include a mix of ideas from both parties and both
houses of Congress. For more information on the many myths regarding
Health Care Reform and what AARP supports, please visit
www.healthactionnow.org and click on “Myths.”

Again, we are sorry to have lost your support at this time. We do
hope to regain your trust in AARP in the future. In the meantime, if
there is anything we can discuss with you, please feel free to
contact us.

Zzzzzzz
Member Communications
[email protected]

Toll-free 1-888-OUR-AARP (1-888-687-2277)
Toll-free 1-877-434-7598 TTY