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GOP challenges AARP on UnitedHealth Group ties

Conservatives are challenging AARP’s political motives because of the organizations ties to UnitedHealth Group and other insurers.

AARP, which lobbies on behalf of older Americans, makes millions from royalties on health and other insurance plans it endorses, the Washington Post reports. Between 2007 and 2008, AARP earned $400 million from Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth Group.

GOP lawmakers say those payments taint AARP’s support of Democratic-sponsored health-care reforms. They’ve questioned its stance in a letter and recent speeches and interviews.

One problem, the Wall Street Journal notes: AARP’s position on planned cuts to Medicare Advantage is largely at odds with the insurance industry’s stance.

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 10/29/2009 - 11:05 am.

    I believe the United Health plan sold by AARP is a private-fee-for-service plan, the kind that gets lots of extra additional Medicare funds to add goodies like gym memberships for plan enrollees. Meanwhile, Medicare providers are underpaid and certain states (ours included) paid at lower rates that others (Florida, for instance, and New York).

    If they are opposed to the cuts that will be made to these private plans, I am surprised but pleased.

    Is the money AARP gets from the insurance companies something like commissions on its sales? What does it do with those hundreds of millions of dollars?

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