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AARP Stance Explained, Defended

April 17, 2011
The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

Editor, News-Register:

A recent story in The Intelligencer ("House Republicans seek IRS probe of AARP," April 3, based on a report by three members of Congress, offers a slanted picture of AARP and ignores the real reasons for our advocacy and the benefits our members and people 50-plus receive.

AARP has engaged in difficult policy battles since our founding 53 years ago, and we've received praise and criticism from both ends of the political spectrum throughout. We supported the health care law because it strengthens Medicare for the long-term, closes the dreaded prescription drug doughnut hole and offers our younger members new options to get affordable health insurance.

We consistently champion policies opposed by insurance companies and which, using the report's logic, would reduce our own bottom line, whether it's limiting what insurers can charge based on a person's age, creating a new voluntary long-term care insurance program or paying private Medicare Advantage plans based on the quality of their care.

We fought for these policies for decades because they will improve health care for older Americans, and we would give up our revenue to ensure every American has the health and financial security he or she needs.

Until that day comes, the royalties we receive from lending our name to products and services make it possible for us to advocate for the entire 50-plus population and offer volunteer, engagement and education opportunities, as well as award-winning journalism, free tax preparation, driver safety classes and discounts on the everyday essentials our members need.

Lee Hammond

AARP president

Salisbury, Md.

House's Vote

Is Undemocratic

Editor, News-Register:

I'm furious over the new rules the House passed in the FAA Reauthorization Bill to make nonvoters count as "no" voters in railway and airline union elections. It's simply undemocratic, and it makes it so much harder for workers to form unions.

This new legislation essentially stuffs the ballot box with anti-union votes in these elections.

Not one representative in the House would be in office today if their elections followed the same rules they're trying to impose on workers.

Instead of attacking workers, our elected officials should focus on restoring balance in our economy and creating good American jobs that power the middle class.

When Congress returns to Washington after this recess, I hope they'll start solving problems for working Americans instead of making the problems even worse.

May God Bless the United States of America, especially of the working class that is the backbone of our economy.

Denny Longwell

New Martinsville

 
 

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