AARP Admits Government Programs Don't Eliminate Poverty for Elderly

The AARP has worked hard recently to deny it’s non-endorsement endorsement of the Health Care Bill HR3200. Behind the scenes they have been working hard to convince their members that this bill is in their best interest, regardless of questions by members and a declining membership. In an obvious attempt to try to reverse the trend, they have finally made mention of the Republican health care proposals. A careful read will show the AARP can’t get away from their bias even in this article.

In an Associated Press article today, Robin Talbert, president of the AARP Foundation admits,

It’s a hidden problem. There are still many millions of older people on the edge, who don’t have what they need to get by.

The Associate Press article is about the White House formula, created in 1955, that is still used to determine the number of people living at the poverty level. The National Academy of Science is proposing a new formula. Their reasoning is as follows:

The original government formula, created in 1955, doesn’t take account of rising costs of medical care and other factors.

But wait a minute, isn’t it this same AARP that was smugly telling us those that were opposed to a government option that we already have a government medical plan called Medicare, and this same plan was supposed to be providing free, quality healthcare for seniors? Wasn’t it government health care that was supposed to bring competition to health care that would drive down costs for everyone?

Some of the results of applying the Academy’s proposed formula:

* The rate for children under 18 in poverty would decline slightly, to 17.9 percent.
* Single mothers and their children, who disproportionately receive food stamps, would see declines in the rates of poverty because noncash aid would be taken into account. Low-income people who are working could see increases in poverty rates, a reflection of transportation and child-care costs.
* Cities with higher costs of living, such as New York, Chicago and San Francisco, would see higher poverty rates, while more rural areas in the Midwest and South might see declines.
* The rate for extreme poverty, defined as income falling below 50 percent of the poverty line, would decrease due to housing and other noncash benefits.
* Immigrant poverty rates would go up, due to transportation costs and lower participation in government aid programs.

The Obama Administration is considering using the new formula. Several blogs could be written from the information here, but the one that stands out the most to me is they admit that the largest cities have higher rates of poverty despite having additional government assistance programs that smaller cities and urban areas do not have. It is a tacit admission of the failure of government programs to provide health care services equivalent to those in the private sector.

Nationalizing health care will only reduce everyone’s care to that already provided by the government through programs such as Medicare, health care for our Armed Services and Veterans, and for Native Americans. The fact that the Academy’s study also shows that nearly 20% of those over 65 are below the poverty level is an indictment against Social Security and other government social programs that are supposed to prevent this from happening. But then, like all government programs, it really isn’t about providing services as much as it is giving control of our lives to the government.

Crossposted at Night Twister