I took time from my NANOWRIMO project today to cancel my membership in AARP in response to their support of the Medicare Prescription Drug Bill.
See http://www.moveon.org/medicare.html for a list of both liberal and conservative groups that oppose this bill.
Here is the letter that I sent to the CEO and the President of AARP.
Dear Mr. Novelli and Mr. Parkel:
I joined AARP the first minute that I could, because I believed that you represented the interests of older Americans, including those of us who are not millionaires.
Please cancel my membership. With your endorsement of the medicare prescription drug bill, you have abandoned those who need you most. You have allowed your own interest to cloud your sense of responsibility to your members, since you must be aware that the bill that you are sponsoring will be a windfall for your own insurance company. You will be wealthier because of the bill that you are endorsing, and the people who trusted you will have less money and fewer options.
In addition, you have tied the hands of Medicare with regard to negotiating reduced prices based upon volume. This is a supreme sell-out. You have used the numbers of people who trusted you over the years to negotiate reduced prices for everything from cruises to hamburgers. You know this restriction will cripple Medicare, because such negotiation has been your trademark. In providing services to seniors, Medicare would, after all, be competing with you. In supporting this legislation, you will reduce the competition and increase your market. Will you use the volume card to negotiate with drug companies?
This bill takes the interests of citizens and the general welfare of Americans deeper into the private corporate sector, where the growth of the bottom line is the only ethic. Your endorsement of the Medicare Prescription Drug Bill surrenders the health needs of seniors to exploitation by private for-profit insurance companies, which, coincidentally, include your own insurance company.
(sent by e-mail, 11/20/2003)