Questions re: AARP’s tax-free profits

I always wondered why AARP would be such adamant supporters of Obamacare and now I know.

As a member of AARP, some years back, I thought it was a decent organization and it did offer some helps to seniors in various discounts and prescription drugs.  But now, not so much.  The meager discounts they arrange don’t start to makeup for the money they are taking in.  As a non-profit organization it has now grown to be a major operator in politics and other things.  Lobbying (paying congressmen/women) for things that are for their best interest and that interest is not the same as the interest of their membership.

Sure they send out all their pamphlets and brochures trying to suck in more members but behind the scenes there is a totally different operation going on.  That’s why I’m glad a call has been made for the IRS to do a little audit on AARP.  Let’s see what’s in the ‘books’ and tell all the truth.

The big drawback to all of this ‘audit’ of course is the Obama Administration.  Since AARP played such a big part in getting his health care through congress, he now has favors to repay and AARP will have their hands out.  The IRS audit will probably be tainted and we know that if AG Eric Holder gets involved, well let’s just say any wrong doing will probably never see the Bench of Justice.

Here’s the story from One News Now:

Questions re: AARP’s tax-free profits (OneNewsNow.com).

Lawmakers question AARP’s tax-free profits

Chris Woodward – OneNewsNow – 12/29/2011 8:40:00 AM

A conservative seniors group is applauding a request by the House Ways and Means Committee for the IRS to investigate the tax-exempt status of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).

Following a months-long process, three members of the House Ways and Means Committee are asking the Internal Revenue Service to explain how AARP is able to shield hundreds of millions of dollars from tax levies, even while AARP is in “day-to-day control” of products offered by private firms that it endorses. According to the committee, AARP’s income from United HealthCare products alone “skyrocketed” from $284 million to $427 million from 2007 to 2009 — and then jumped to $670 million in 2010.

In a statement posted on its website, AARP says it has cooperated with congressional requests for information over the last several months, but rejects the conclusions of the resulting report.

One of the committee members, Congressman Dave Reichert (R-Washington), tells OneNewsnow he first became suspicious of AARP a few years ago when the State Children’s Health Insurance Reform bill (S-CHIP) came up for discussion.

“What AARP was supporting was a $200 billion cut to Medicare Advantage — and I didn’t quite understand why a seniors organization would be in favor of and support a $200 billion cut to one of the favorite programs in the Medicare system,” Reichert admits.

Since that time, the new healthcare reform bill has been approved and Reichert says AARP has been to the White House and was deeply involved in constructing the language of the bill, which essentially guts Medicare Advantage.

“What happens is, it forces seniors to make a decision — they’ve got to either go buy personal healthcare coverage outside of Medicare Advantage, or they have to go to Medigap,” the lawmaker explains. “If they go to Medigap insurance, AARP stands to increase their revenue by $1 billion over the next ten years.”

And that, according to Reichert, is a lot of money for an organization that saw its royalty revenue increase by $417 million from 2002 to 2008 while its contributions to the charitable foundation increased by only $3 million during that time. He argues that if one couples that with findings from a previous report that AARP executives serve on both the 501(c)3 charitable and 501(c)4 advocacy boards, you have suspicious activity.

“I’m an old cop. I was a police officer for 33 years in King County Sheriff’s Office here in Seattle,” he shares. “My antennae went up immediately. It just didn’t make any sense to me.”

Phil KentPhil Kent with the American Seniors Association supports the lawmakers’ call for an investigation. “AARP stands to reap this billion-dollar reward over the next decade because of its support for ObamaCare, [which] destroys the competition to the products that AARP endorses,” he says. (Listen to audio report)

Kent says American Seniors Association has long warned that AARP lobbied to pass ObamaCare simply so it could sell insurance and reap profits.

American Seniors Association is a partner of the 60 Plus Association, a well-known critic of the AARP. Kent readily admits there is a philosophical divide between these groups, but adds there is nothing wrong with members of Congress calling on the IRS to investigate an organization’s tax-exempt status, pointing out that is “what the Internal Revenue Service is supposed to do.”

 

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