Reach into your mailbox after turning 65 and you’ll find a fistful of glossy mail.
“You’re eligible for Medicare!” the face of a smiling senior citizen cheerily informs those entering their golden years. That means it’s time to buy insurance to cover the gaps in Medicare coverage.
So-called Medigap insurance is big business, and one of the biggest moneymakers in this government-created insurance market is AARP.
AARP, previously known as the American Association of Retired People, presents itself as a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocate of senior citizens, an image major media unquestioningly accepts.
Nothing could be further from the truth. AARP is a hermaphrodite, half nonprofit, half for-profit, pretending to be a charity while earning billions tax-free, masquerading as nonpartisan while it takes money from the U.S. Treasury to support the Democratic Party and the institutional left.
In 2011, AARP generated $458 million in royalty fees from so-called “Medigap” plans sold through United Healthcare, nearly twice the $266 million the organization received in membership dues. Top AARP executives make more than $1 million, Forbes reports. In its 2014 annual financial statement, AARP reported receiving $297 million in dues, and approximately $528 million in Medigap “royalties” from United Healthcare.
Beneath its nonprofit umbrella, AARP hosts a litter of for-profit entities such as AARP Services and AARP Financial and the tax-exempt AARP Institute and AARP Foundation, all of which engage in questionable activities that earn millions off senior citizens.
And far from being nonpartisan, AARP is an active part of the Democrat-Corporate-Deep State complex that feeds on taxpayer dollars to advance its own interests.
The organization paid $36 million to a public relations firm with solidly Democratic clients including Obama for President, the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee and the National Council of La Raza.
AARP implacably opposed President Trump’s tax cuts and budgets, though most of its members voted for and support the president. It also opposes repealing Obamacare.
During the 20009 debate over the Affordable Care Act, members’ phone calls to the organization were running 14 to 1 against Obamacare. That didn’t stop AARP from endorsing Obamacare, even though it cut $500 million from Medicare to pay for Medicaid expansion and insurance subsidies.
This makes perfect sense once you understand AARP is in the insurance business, and those cuts pushed more seniors to buy Medigap plans to cover shortfalls in coverage.
AARP gets a 4.95 percent kickback (it calls them “royalties”) on the premiums seniors pay United Healthcare for “AARP endorsed” insurance. (In New York state, monthly premiums for the “AARP approved” United Healthcare plan are $15 dollars higher than premiums for an identical plan Blue Cross offers.)
Since 2010 alone, AARP took in over $4 billion in “royalties” from United Healthcare premiums.
Not only does AARP not pay any tax on that windfall, it also takes money from the U.S. Treasury.
Since 2007, the AARP Foundation has received nearly $1 billion ($940,191,924) in government grants – taxpayer money!
That includes $839 billion from the Department of Labor to help seniors find jobs, $20 million to help seniors volunteer (for those without jobs who have time on their hands) and $72 million the AARP Foundation took from the U.S. Treasury to provide tax counseling to seniors.
It’s ironic AARP is advising anyone on taxes (and the U.S. Treasury is paying it with your money to do so) since the organization has paid over a hundred million in settlements to the IRS and may be one of the biggest tax scams ever.
But it gets worse. Volunteers in AARP’s Tax-Aide program quit because of privacy concerns over what AARP is doing with the data it collects while helping seniors fill out their tax returns.
“The volunteers claim AARP is implementing new policies that will force 2.5 million taxpayers nationwide to hand over all of their private taxpayer data to the foundation without protections,” the Arizona Republic reports.
AARP Foundation shares information with AARP Services, a for-profit entity that sells data to corporations, and volunteers worry about the potential for a data-mining operation that would make Mark Zuckerberg blush.
There’s gold behind the glossy come-ons filling mailboxes across the country.
AARP mines the gold from senior citizens and from the U.S. Treasury. And then it recycles the gold through lobbyists to pressure politicians for government policies that bring more gold to AARP and more power to the government.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a better example of how the institutional left and the Deep State work hand in hand – with the other hand in the pocket of you, the taxpayer.