AARP letter wrong


   To the Editor,
   I am writing to respond to the misinformation in Margaret Dement's letter attacking AARP to which you gave the heading "AARP Corrupt." It could have been taken almost word for word from a press release from American Seniors, one of the organizations she approves, both of which characterize themselves as conservative alternatives to AARP. (Read "right-wing" versus her calling AARP "left-wing.") At least one of them has in the past received major funding from pharmaceutical groups and has promoted political candidates (unlike AARP). AARP, like these groups, is a 501(c)4 organization.
   Margaret Dement accuses AARP of lobbying for Obamacare to sell more insurance and reap more profits. Perhaps she is unaware that American Seniors and 60-Plus Association both sell insurance as well and equally stand to benefit. Not only that, they support the Paul Ryan Medicare proposals, which would force everyone over age 55 into the arms of the health insurance industry and insure vast profits for that industry at the expense of seniors.
   AARP is a genuine advocate for seniors and I for one am proud to be a member. AARP supports the health reform act not because it was perfect or to sell insurance, but because it offers better coverage for all Americans than what we have. But AARP, unlike American Seniors and 60-Plus Association, does much more than advocate and offer insurance. To give just two examples, consider the AARP defensive driving courses and AARP Tax-Aide program which provides free help with income tax preparation to seniors and others with low to moderate incomes. Both are offered in Madras and nearby communities. (For the record, I have been an AARP Tax-Aide volunteer.)
   I encourage readers to do their own research and not be taken in by biased propaganda from any source.
   Bob Williams