Tuesday, April 8, 2014

AARP facing more challenges from conservative groups

It is all well and good for Fran Tarkenton to say AARP’s support of Obamacare was the last straw for him. What does a multimillionaire like him have to worry about when it comes to affording health insurance.

Tarkenton criticizes AARP as too liberal in a radio ad touting the benefits of considering membership in the Association of Mature Americans — AMAC — as a conservative alternative.

"We made an offer to anyone who cut their AARP card in half that we'd give them a year's free membership,"  Randy Lewin, spokesman for the American Seniors Association told the financial newsletter Sound Mind Investing. "We had to stop (the promotion) early. I had too many 55-gallon trash bags full of AARP cards cut in half."

SMI recently listed seven alternatives to AARP. They are:

Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC). Web: AMAC.us

Generation America. Cost to join: $24/year (lower rates available for longer terms), spouse is free. Web: GenerationAmerica.org.

American Seniors Association (ASA).
Cost to join: $15/year, spouse is free. Web: AmericanSeniors.org.

Christian Association of PrimeTimers (CAP).
Cost to join: $19.95/yr. Web: CAPMemberBenefits.org.

Christian Seniors Association (CSA). Cost to join: $12.95/year. Web: ChristianSeniorsAssociation.org.

60 Plus Association. Membership free. Web: 60plus.org.

The Seniors Coalition (TSC) Cost to join: $13.50/year. Web: Senior.org.

None of this, of course, changes the dominance of AARP. For that, senior citizens ought to be grateful.

Frederick Lynch, an associate professor of government at Claremont McKenna College in California and the author of “One Nation Under AARP: The Fight Over Medicare, Social Security, and America's Future,” calls the organization the “900-pound invisible gorilla in the room” when it comes to pertinent legislation in Congress.

“They have a lot of clout but they love to stay out of the spotlight,” Lynch recently told Al Jazeera America. “All they have to do is whisper because they have a grassroots organization that can be activated at a moment’s notice.”

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