Here's something to remember (and pass on to your pals) when you see those high-dollar, high-pressure ads from the AARP touting government-run health care; namely, that AARP is poised to make millions of dollars in royalties when Obamacare becomes the law of the land.
It's a conflict of interest so doggone blatant that even the Washington Post is willing to report on it.
...But not advertised in this lobbying campaign have been the group's substantial earnings from insurance royalties and the potential benefits that could come its way from many of the reform proposals.
The group and its subsidiaries collected more than $650 million in royalties and other fees last year from the sale of insurance policies, credit cards and other products that carry the AARP name, accounting for the majority of its $1.14 billion in revenue, according to federal tax records. It does not directly sell insurance policies but lends its name to plans in exchange for a tax-exempt cut of the premiums...
The group's dual role as an insurance reformer and a broker has come under increasing scrutiny in recent weeks from congressional Republicans, who accuse it of having a conflict of interest in taking sides in the fierce debate over health insurance...
Republicans also question the high salaries and other perks given to some top AARP executives, who would not be subject to limits on insurance executives' pay included in the Senate Finance Committee's health reform package. Former AARP chief executive William Novelli received more than $1 million in compensation last year.
"We are witnessing a disturbing trend of handouts to special interests like AARP," said House Republican spokesman Matt Lloyd, referring to Democratic negotiations over health reform. "In return, AARP is lobbying for a government-run health-care bill that will pad their own executives' pockets at the expense of its own members and other vulnerable seniors."