AARP Doesn't Take Sides in Partisan Politics

AARP spokesman responds to Ron Bonjean.

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Ron Bonjean is certainly right that our country needs to break from the status quo in Washington and work together on solutions that help all Americans. So it's disappointing that he repeats some of the same divisive and misleading attacks that have created such a corrosive political atmosphere in the first place ["Ruling Healthcare Law Unconstitutional Is New Sputnik Moment," February 1].

Contrary to Mr. Bonjean's assertion, AARP has always leveraged the advocacy power of our members and volunteers on behalf of the interests of older Americans—nothing else. That's a big reason why over the years AARP has been attacked by both sides of the aisle for standing up for older Americans rather than siding with either political party.

It's hard to tell what Mr. Bonjean means by his false charge of "exemptions" when he doesn't even try to back it up with any facts. We'll assume he's rehashing the usual myth that AARP is an insurance company. To be clear, AARP is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization with a membership. While there are insurance products that carry the AARP name, they are underwritten by insurers such as Delta Dental, UnitedHealth Group, and Aetna and others—not AARP. We work to ensure those products meet our standards and provide value to our members.

His attack of being too close to one party sounds a lot like the ones used by Democrats who didn't like our work with the Bush administration (Mr. Bonjean's employer at the time) to enact a new prescription drug benefit in Medicare that older Americans desperately needed.

Mr. Bonjean's post is either a sign of confusion or opportunism. Either way, if he truly cares about our nation's future—and not just politics—we hope he'll abandon the divisive rhetoric that suffocates honest, meaningful debate among people on both sides of the aisle who want to move our country forward.

Jim Dau


Director of Media Relations
AARP

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