Diary

Meanwhile, back at the AARP

I’m going from the printed bulletin I received just after canceling my membership, but they do have all or most of this info on-line. (example)

The largest print on the cover is
THE HYPE
THE LIES
THE FACTS

Subhead (emphasis theirs): How to tune out the fear-mongering and misinformation and make sense of the health care reform debate (I thought it was health insurance reform. Hmm.)

When you jump to page 12, the article is entitled “The Assault on Truth”. Here they helpfully clear up the “tsunami of rumors, myths, fear-mongering and misinformation about the proposals that surges around the Internet in nanoseconds.” In a slick move, they open with a quote from the director of the center that runs factcheck.org saying, “What we’re seeing is a flood of viral content that distorts the Obama effort to reform health care.”

The bias bleeds through pretty easily. Before getting off the first page, we get (this time the emphasis is mine):

Could the rumor-mongering affect the outcome? Recent violent interruptions at the lawmakers’ town hall meetings suggest it might…

On to the “persistent myths”:

  • “socialized medicine” – blamed in general on lying by “opponents of reform”.
  • “private insurance disappear” – blamed on use of misleading numbers “ricocheted around the Internet”.
  • “euthanasia” – blamed on John Boehner and a former GOP NY Lieutenant Governor.
  • “gutting Medicare” – blamed on Dick Morris.
  • “rationing” – blamed on Frank Luntz and the “gov’t takeover” folks.

So apparently by comparison, everything coming from the left is completely accurate and unbiased according to the non-partisan [sic] AARP. Now there is a separate “Dear AARP Members” article saying where the AARP stands….

It starts out with a few cliched anecdotes and then says the scope is huge, making the “solutions complicated and confusing.” There are “many difficult questions” and “reasonable people disagree” on proposals. But since they told us in the other article that people on the right are a bunch of lying fear-mongers, and that by omission the people on the left are telling us 100% truth, it’s apparent that there ARE no reasonable people on the right here.

They say they’re fighting to ensure:

  • lower drug costs and stronger Medicare – Talk of fixing the “Part D doughnut hole” but no mention of possibly gutting Medicare Advantage, which is what has many seniors up in arms. Of course AARP wants access to doctors and copays to be unchanged, with all the cuts against our old friends “waste fraud and abuse”.
  • protect health care choices – You get to make all the choices over coverage, doctors, and care. Gee, HR 3200 et al would have no impact on that, would they?
  • end “discrimination” by insurance companies – Nothing better than using a racially-charged codeword when your side is losing! They want to protect preexisting conditions and age-based pricing.
  • guarantee stable, affordable coverage – So that you are protected if you lose of change jobs. Note they don’t say you should be able to keep the same coverage, so if you are forced into a public option from a job change that would satisfy the AARP, even though in the second bullet they said everything should be your choice.

Despite the tremendous need to health care reform, many of you have expressed confusion, skepticism and even fear about what Congress is proposing.

Those concerns are understandable. There has been a lot of misinformation and fear-mongering in this debate. From allegations blah blah blah to wild reports blah blah blah, the rumors just keep getting crazier. Haven’t we had enough?

So the concerns are “understandable” – not because any of the concerns are valid, oh God no – but because of the barrage of lies from the right that could be confusing people.

They close by reminding us that they are helping “cut through the noise and find the facts” and of course throw in the obligatory “AARP has NOT endorsed any comprehensive health care reform bill” disclaimer, even though they don’t seem have to pointed out a single thing they don’t like about HR 3200 for example. And lastly…

We urge you to make your voice heard. Tell Congress not to let myths get in the way of fixing health care.