So I got e-mail today asking me to donate to AARP. It was a personal e-mail from Bill Novelli, the CEO. It said:
(No link. It’s my e-mail. But trust me, I think he sent it to more than one person…)
We want to break through partisan gridlock to create real and meaningful change. Because ensuring the health and financial security of all Americans is too big a task for one party to handle on its own ? this problem requires the ideas and support of both sides of the aisle.
The time for action is now. As health care costs continue to escalate at an alarming rate, coupled with an ailing economy, millions of Americans are facing growing holes in their retirement security.
Now during the Bush administration the AARP became a health insurance company. It supported the prescription drug plan designed by the drug manufacturers and left seniors falling into the doughnut hole and scrambling for new plans when their plan dropped their medication. Then it started a non-profit foundation so it could collect more donations.
Sure, I am going to donate now to a health insurance company. I am going to donate this:
Anybody who is a worker or an employer or a retiree or a disabled person or a parent or a child of adult parents has to be an idiot NOT to support national health care. If they donate money to a for-profit health care provider — even their non-profit advocacy arm — they are twice an idiot. Taking with your right hand and giving with your left doesn’t make you Robin Hood, and advocacy groups that expand into the arena they should be advocating against are just wrong.
And I also remember that one side of the aisle shoved us so close to the edge of the financial cliff with incompetence, cronyism, deregulation, wrong-headed flag-waving, and misguided so-called free-market ideology that a lot of people have lost their footing entirely. I am so impressed that now you see how we need a bipartisan effort to drag the survivors back before the rest of the shelf collapses.