Latest beneficiary of ObamaCare waiver: AARP

posted at 9:54 am on May 20, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

No one seems to know what criteria HHS uses to grant or deny waivers to insurers from provisions in ObamaCare.  The White House won’t release the names of those insurers and employers refused waivers or discuss denials at all.  But maybe, just maybe, we could all agree that organizations that publicly pushed ObamaCare to approval should be ineligible to escape its consequences?

The Daily Caller has learned that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) rate review rules, which it finalized on Thursday, exempt “Medigap” policy providers, like the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), from oversight when such providers increase payment rates for their supplemental insurance plans.

Insurance providers who aren’t exempt from Obamacare’s rate review rules are required to publicly release and explain some health care payment rate increases.

Let’s not forget that AARP had a distinct interest in seeing ObamaCare pass, because it helped eliminate competition for AARP’s supplemental insurance program:

The AARP is the nation’s biggest seller of Medigap policies, or supplemental healthcare plans that add onto what Medicare won’t cover for seniors. The senior citizens interest group advocated for Obamacare to include an attack on Medigap policies’ biggest competitor, Medicare Advantage.

Though the White House and HHS dismiss allegations of political favoritism when it comes to who’s getting exceptions from the new health care regulations – such as in the recent uproar over the disproportionate number of Obamacare waivers that went to companies in House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s district — Obamacare critics say the mere appearance of the administration helping friends is disturbing.

The attack on Medicare Advantage plans was a crucial part of ObamaCare.  Democrats insisted that the public-private partnership was driving the cost curve upward and needed to be drastically curtailed, and the bill sliced $500 billion out of Medicare, largely at the expense of Medicare Advantage.  Fortunately for the AARP, which was conducting a public-relations campaign to drum up support for ObamaCare, those changes didn’t impact their own Medigap plans.

Thanks to the passage of ObamaCare, Medicare Advantage plans began disappearing, and the choices are much fewer for seniors and the disabled who want supplemental insurance.  That puts AARP in perfect position to take advantage (pun intended) of the lack of choice.  And now they don’t even have to deal with the few consequences that their favorite bill created for them.

How coincidentally fortunate for them!

We’re way beyond “mere appearance” here.  If the AARP and the labor unions that backed ObamaCare need waivers from its consequences, then we all do.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Low life!

Bambi on May 20, 2011 at 9:57 AM

If the AARP and the labor unions that backed ObamaCare need waivers from its consequences

I think it’s more a matter of quid pro quo. The Obama regime is the most brazenly corrupt presidential administration in my lifetime (since Ike), bar none.

jwolf on May 20, 2011 at 9:58 AM

Okay that’s my favorite one yet.

What a bunch of hypocrites!

gophergirl on May 20, 2011 at 9:58 AM

Aren’t these waivers only good for a year? Then what? The screams will be deafening!

parteagirl on May 20, 2011 at 10:00 AM

The those idiots fought for it. Somebody wake me up.

jake-the-goose on May 20, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Of course, the irony is what Obama care will do for the AARP’s members. I mean, the elderly will be feeling the boot on the throat first when they are no longer worthy of care. AARP is just out for themselves, which isn’t exactly a newsflash.

search4truth on May 20, 2011 at 10:01 AM

Granting exemptions from laws based on political favoritism was a practice of lords and kings from days of yore. It was part of the oppression inherent in the system, as Dennis would put it.

Akzed on May 20, 2011 at 10:02 AM

If the AARP and the labor unions that backed ObamaCare need waivers from its consequences, then we all do.

Enter the REAL repeal of Obamacare–coming from a Republican administration in 2013.

johnny alpha on May 20, 2011 at 10:02 AM

They aren’t even hiding it anymore are they?

sammypants on May 20, 2011 at 10:03 AM

Gads this makes me spitting mad! I detest bho and his whole team! I wouldn’t do business with aarp if it was free!
L

letget on May 20, 2011 at 10:03 AM

These guys advocated for it?…? WTPh. They threw their support behind it and now are asking for a waiver to get out from underneath of it. Either they knew they’d do this up front, or they were duped as a result. What in the hell is going on? I smell a rat, this has gone too damn far. If you advocate for a piece of legislation that is blanket legislation, you should be the LAST to try to pull crap like this.

ted c on May 20, 2011 at 10:04 AM

The Titanic didn’t look as glamorous when the Atlantic water started flooding over the promenade deck, then everyone started looking for a way to get off.

Bishop on May 20, 2011 at 10:04 AM

I sure hope the RNC campaign people are keeping good notes. How anyone can vote for, or support people that do things like this to the rest of us taxpayers is sickening.

JetBlast on May 20, 2011 at 10:05 AM

Hypocrisy, thy name is aarp

Absolutely shameful

Will the lsm call them on this?

*crickets chirping*

cmsinaz on May 20, 2011 at 10:05 AM

+1 bishop

cmsinaz on May 20, 2011 at 10:07 AM

Come on does anyone here believe that AARP didnt know they were going to get this waiver back when they were hyping O Care? They had a guarantee they would be exempt before they even started pushing it.

Johnnyreb on May 20, 2011 at 10:08 AM

I sure hope the RNC campaign people are keeping good notes. How anyone can vote for, or support people that do things like this to the rest of us taxpayers is sickening.

JetBlast on May 20, 2011 at 10:05 AM

I have a sinking feeling that the only thing the RNC campaign people are taking notes on are donations. The GOP doesn’t seem to have much fight left in it these days.

search4truth on May 20, 2011 at 10:11 AM

The AARP is going to sink with this ship they chose to sail on!

Keemo on May 20, 2011 at 10:12 AM

Don’t forget that the entire state of Nevada got a waiver as well.

Vashta.Nerada on May 20, 2011 at 10:15 AM

Next we’ll just see how long these “temporary” waivers last.

GarandFan on May 20, 2011 at 10:15 AM

The RNC is a mere pimple on the face or our system. The DNC has control over most of the political money collected by hook or crook around the world. They are Goliath and we are David; end of story. We must get the truth out by every means possible and hope the truth will set us free.

Keemo on May 20, 2011 at 10:15 AM

This reminds me, I have a stack of empty AARP mailers that I have to take to the post office.

slickwillie2001 on May 20, 2011 at 10:15 AM

The bigger issue here is the replacing of the rule of law with a political economy. Instead of the same rules applying to everyone, the connected are getting special treatment. That change is worse for our country than even socialized medicine.

David Shane on May 20, 2011 at 10:16 AM

I don’t care. Obama is awesome.

Keef Overbite on May 20, 2011 at 10:17 AM

Clink on May 20, 2011 at 10:13 AM

I have a very good friend who is a career doctor at Kaiser in Bellflower, Ca… She voted for Obama and bought his hope and change BS hook line sinker. She loves medicine and donates much of her spare time in third world countries helping people. She now hates Obama and openly states that ObamaCare will destroy our medical system in America within two years. I don’t buy the hype that Obama will be re-elected no matter what he does to our foundations. I personally know hundreds of people who voted for the guy and regret that vote deeply.

Keemo on May 20, 2011 at 10:20 AM

Its official: these guys are worse than the Nixon Administration…

Khun Joe on May 20, 2011 at 10:20 AM

If the AARP and the labor unions that backed ObamaCare need waivers from its consequences, then we all do.

Which is why Mitt Romney plans to grant waivers to all 50 states if he is elected President.

Conservative Samizdat on May 20, 2011 at 10:20 AM

All the more reason why I dropped AARP when they endorsed B.O.care, and an even stronger reason why I would never rejoin their scuzball outfit!

pilamaye on May 20, 2011 at 10:21 AM

I vividly remember the AARP rep. turning the mic off on the member who asked “Do you work for us, or do we work for you?” at a membership townhall:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7QB9Fz_uJg

They really hate seniors.

parteagirl on May 20, 2011 at 10:24 AM

I hope there are some AARP members reading this post. Listen up you fools. Your leadership got you to advocate for this and now is trying to waive AARP from it. Which is it? You wanted it, and now don’t? Or you never wanted it at all, but were bought off in order to gin up support for it with the promise of a waiver on the backside? Either way, all of you senior citizens that threw your support behind this ought to be freaking ashamed of yourselves and the AARP. Your grandchildren and great grandchildren have been sold out by the AARP. Nothing like “screw you, got mine!” right??

Shameful, unpatriotic and lame.

ted c on May 20, 2011 at 10:24 AM

You have got to be kidding!

Everyone who was a big name in getting this stupid thing passed now gets a waiver?

Okay…. Candidates please make the same pledge as Romney!

Waivers for everyone the first day!!!!! Please!!!!

petunia on May 20, 2011 at 10:24 AM

AARP=RICO

faraway on May 20, 2011 at 10:25 AM

Next we’ll just see how long these “temporary” waivers last.
GarandFan on May 20, 2011 at 10:15 AM

Mid November 2012, just long enough to get the reliable oldster vote in the can for PBHO, then the shockwave will hit everyone.

Bishop on May 20, 2011 at 10:25 AM

The bigger issue here is the replacing of the rule of law with a political economy. Instead of the same rules applying to everyone, the connected are getting special treatment. That change is worse for our country than even socialized medicine.

David Shane on May 20, 2011 at 10:16 AM

Totalitarian cronyism.

the_nile on May 20, 2011 at 10:25 AM

Don’t forget that the entire state of Nevada got a waiver as well.

Vashta.Nerada on May 20, 2011 at 10:15 AM

Maine, too!

Del Dolemonte on May 20, 2011 at 10:26 AM

It’s actually not the American Assoc of Retired Persons anymore- it’s just AARP. Changed that a few years ago.

TheBlueSite on May 20, 2011 at 10:31 AM

ObamaCare is just as great as public education. Professor O’Barry wouldn’t be caught dead using that either.

NickDeringer on May 20, 2011 at 10:31 AM

Nice recall partea :)

cmsinaz on May 20, 2011 at 10:33 AM

Ding ding ding bishop

cmsinaz on May 20, 2011 at 10:35 AM

Not a surprise. Congress gave themselves a waiver, why not allow obaka to give waivers willy-nilly?

I am so depressed.

ladyingray on May 20, 2011 at 10:38 AM

I wonder who they’re going to endorse next November?

John Deaux on May 20, 2011 at 10:38 AM

Looks like I’d better renew my AARP membership become a member of a union and move to Pelosi’s district so I can make sure I get my waiver. No political favors? How in the world do they say that with a straight fact? Confess brethren you are providing political favors and I have no doubt you will continue to do so.

Texasrocker on May 20, 2011 at 10:40 AM

Looks like the safest place to hide away from Obamacare is in San Francisco? It truly is a sanctuary city!!

er….//

ted c on May 20, 2011 at 10:43 AM

Will never join AARP.

Shameless beggars.

hawkdriver on May 20, 2011 at 10:44 AM

When you get those solicitations from AARP, don’t forget to include a rock or something heavy in the postage free mailer that you send back. AARP pays the postage rate, adding weight drives up the cost.

TulsAmerican on May 20, 2011 at 10:46 AM

I’m sort of at a loss here. Shouldn’t we be asking that everyone be given a waiver? Of course, that means that we’d like the Medicare Advantage companies to be given a waiver too, but given how the Democrats want to meddle in the marketplace in favor of the Medigap companies, that would be too much to expect, I guess.

unclesmrgol on May 20, 2011 at 10:47 AM

Aren’t these waivers only good for a year? Then what? The screams will be deafening!

parteagirl on May 20, 2011 at 10:00 AM

I suspect that if they take really good care of their waivers votes & campaign donations, they can reapply next year.

Lily on May 20, 2011 at 10:48 AM

We’re way beyond “mere appearance” here. If the AARP and the labor unions that backed ObamaCare need waivers from its consequences, then we all do.

AMEN!!!! Trash this law, and start over.

capejasmine on May 20, 2011 at 10:55 AM

Your grandchildren and great grandchildren have been sold out by the AARP. Nothing like “screw you, got mine!” right??

ted c on May 20, 2011 at 10:24 AM

Except it’s not just the grandkids that are getting sold out by AARP; it’s senior citizens too. Actual AARP members (old people) are NOT “getting theirs” by backing Obamacare (which the AARP pushed for passage of). Obamacare actually harms the interests of old people. First, it cuts half a trillion dollars from Medicare spending. Second, as the article noted, it makes Medicare-gap policies (which most old people are going to need even more now) more expensive (which is great for AARP, which sells those policies, but bad for the old people whose interests AARP is supposed to be representing).

AARP pursued its own corporate interests (i.e. making more money selling Medigap policies) at the expense of its own members’ healthcare interests. Any senior who remains a member of this corrupt organization is a fool.

AZCoyote on May 20, 2011 at 11:01 AM

An odd number of big democrat donors seem to get these waivers. Purely a coincidence, I’m sure.

lorien1973 on May 20, 2011 at 11:03 AM

Ha. I would hope this is Wall Street Journal front page stuff. Or Drudge siren.

Marcus on May 20, 2011 at 11:04 AM

Jazz Shaw hardest hit!

Big Orange on May 20, 2011 at 11:04 AM

2012 can’t get here soon enough!

SPGuy on May 20, 2011 at 11:07 AM

No one seems to know what criteria HHS uses to grant or deny waivers to insurers from provisions in ObamaCare

Oh come on, it’s obvious.

Eren on May 20, 2011 at 11:12 AM

Liberals don’t seem to want to eat their own cooking.

“Obamacare for thee, but not for me.”

WannabeAnglican on May 20, 2011 at 11:16 AM

AARP is the “Government Motors” of the insurance game.

Will NEVER patronize these douchebag, senior-pandaring, America-wrecking, a-holes.

Tim_CA on May 20, 2011 at 11:18 AM

Will there be a country to save in 2013? There’s also no guarantee Obama will lose in 2012 with the level of fraud and corruption in the voting process with these people.

Hopeless Future on May 20, 2011 at 11:20 AM

As Andrew Breitbart says, what goes on in the media and the entertainment industry is more important than what goes on in Washington, because that’s what people pay attention to.

The Democrats know that the media won’t report on these waivers. They’re hoping that not enough people watch FoxNews or listen to talk radio or read right of center political blogs to make a difference. They’re counting on the ignorance of the politically disengaged mushy middle.

The fact that the RNC is completely and totally clueless to these facts is the main source of our feelings of helplessness. We can stage Tea Party protests, run our own political ads, call into Rush Limbaugh’s show and vent, etc, etc, and all the RNC will do is say “yeah, we agree with what these people are saying, and it’s good that they’re saying it”. But they’ll never lead the charge. They’re whipped dogs.

ardenenoch on May 20, 2011 at 11:28 AM

My elderly mother and I didn’t renew our memberships last year because of their ties to Obamacare, and now, they have given my mother a free two year membership because she has an AARP credit card (the only credit card she has)…I didn’t feel like taking the time to call them, but now I will tell them to take their free membership and shove it….

theaddora on May 20, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Further evidence that OCare is not for the disabled and elderly, but for the young and lazy.

Aronne on May 20, 2011 at 11:32 AM

What gets me is that Obama is openly thumbing his nose at America, and his followers just sit there and take it…if they diss him, they are afraid of losing the power. Rather than losing power, they become servants…I don’t see the advantage in being a liberal, you have no freedom. You are forced to defend the indefensible.
We all make fun of crr6, but behind that is a sadness that she is forced to defend the actions of this administration.
The good news is that is now becoming so obvious that even the most strident supporters are beginning to question, stepping back, and seeing how wrong Obama is.
It is sad, but beneficial in the way that it will bring a new beginning to the rebuilding of America, after the years/decades of destruction wrought on by the liberals.

right2bright on May 20, 2011 at 11:40 AM

…I don’t see the advantage in being a liberal, you have no freedom. You are forced to defend the indefensible.

That’s simple because you have a conscience and liberals have thrown theirs under the bus eons ago.

“Any means to an end” “a crisis (created or otherwise) is too good to waste.” “Heck kill it – starve it to ”

Do that sound like a conscience at play? They’ve all atrophied from lack of use.

Don L on May 20, 2011 at 11:47 AM

AARP is as in-your-face corrupt as any labor union; and just like any labor union, they will never see a nickel of my money.

CantCureStupid on May 20, 2011 at 11:49 AM

AARP loses 300,000 members over health care reform debate

The chickens are coming home to roost.

Roy Rogers on May 20, 2011 at 11:50 AM

I used to receive mailers from AARP all the time. Which was strange considering I’m not even 40 yet. Once the Obakacare BS went down, I sent all of them back with “F*CK YOU, OBABMACARE SHILLS” written large on them with a black Sharpie.

It’s been almost a year since I’ve received anything from AARP. I can’t imagine why…..

Dominion on May 20, 2011 at 12:07 PM

I once belonged to AARP back in the 80′s tried to get home owners insurance through them and was declined, the only reason given at that time was I lived in CA.cancelled my subsciption then.
I have moved twice since then and I still receive mail from them, have tried to stop them to no avail.
I even sent one back with “When Hell Freezes over” written across it, still get them, they go directly in the trash.
They are like the unions they were good when they started and are now political machines. GAMING SENIORS AND THE SYSTEM.

concernedsenior on May 20, 2011 at 12:17 PM

AARP loses 300,000 members over health care reform debate

The chickens are coming home to roost.

Roy Rogers on May 20, 2011 at 11:50 AM

They will more than make up for that in the spoils from their crony capitalism.

stvnscott on May 20, 2011 at 12:24 PM

I reached the grand old age of 50 last year and now I get AARP garbage in the mail every week, or so it seems..they are a disgrace to this country. i will never join them. I rip up their mail without ever opening it. I’m happy to waste their money

galtg on May 20, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Latest beneficiary of ObamaCare waiver: AARP

AARP FRAUD EXPOSED!!!

…with Liberty and Justice for all friends of Obama who contribute enough money

landlines on May 20, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Gads this makes me spitting mad! I detest bho and his whole team! I wouldn’t do business with aarp if it was free!
L

letget on May 20, 2011 at 10:03 AM

Personally, I like to send them an assortment of hardware in their business reply solicitation envelopes….along with a note that we do not contribute to left wing extremist organizations.

PS: Have you noticed that if you pronounce “AARP” it sounds exactly like a senior throwing up??

landlines on May 20, 2011 at 12:37 PM

So the AARP spends millions of dollars to help push a plan that they have now sought to be exempt from?

Aren’t they the ones who also propped up Andy Griffith in those ads pushing this snake oil?

reaganaut on May 20, 2011 at 1:00 PM

I was a member of AARP, I quit it when they quit representing us, and started to represent Democrats who were trying to kill us.

If I ran a business, I would have a sign in the window that said. “AARP gets a 10% surcharge, not discount”

Snake307 on May 20, 2011 at 1:24 PM

As Andrew Breitbart says, what goes on in the media and the entertainment industry is more important than what goes on in Washington, because that’s what people pay attention to.

The Democrats know that the media won’t report on these waivers. They’re hoping that not enough people watch FoxNews or listen to talk radio or read right of center political blogs to make a difference. They’re counting on the ignorance of the politically disengaged mushy middle.

The fact that the RNC is completely and totally clueless to these facts is the main source of our feelings of helplessness. We can stage Tea Party protests, run our own political ads, call into Rush Limbaugh’s show and vent, etc, etc, and all the RNC will do is say “yeah, we agree with what these people are saying, and it’s good that they’re saying it”. But they’ll never lead the charge. They’re whipped dogs.

ardenenoch on May 20, 2011 at 11:28 AM

That’s not entirely true. There is a person who has been speaking up and has been taking heavy hits for us on a consistent basis. Unfortunately, some “conservatives” think she’s unelectable, has a irritating voice and other mind numbing BS talking points.

The gratitude for her effort is awe-inspiring./

Up to you, really. Otherwise, you’re (in the generic, not YOU specifically) just impotent white noise.

kim roy on May 20, 2011 at 1:37 PM

By 2014 will there anyone be left in ObamaCare?

Schadenfreude on May 20, 2011 at 2:14 PM

While the House needs to investigate all of these activities this year, the Republicans must not miss the target next year.

The entire waiver episode needs to be dumped into Obama’s lap at every possible turn. Every debate, every time Obama speaks, every discussion needs to include some references to this CRIMINAL debacle! And yes, it is a criminal act in deliberate violation of the 14th ammendment.

Freddy on May 20, 2011 at 2:49 PM

I wonder if the law suits brought up violation of equal protection as a ground for nullifying Obamacare. It can discriminate, but only if there’s a lawful, rational basis for it, and I don’t think political cronyism fills that bill.

flataffect on May 21, 2011 at 12:44 AM