Health care Politics

The AARP Pushes Back Against What It Calls Crazy Rumors About Health Care Reform

Late last week, I was forwarded this email in which the AARP – which has not endorsed Obama’s health care reform plan, or any other plan – deliberately pushed back against the what it called crazy rumors. They encouraged their members to email, Facebook, or tweet the truth about health care reform.

Here’s the full text of the email:

From: Barry Jackson, AARP []
Sent: Wednesday, August 05, 2009 4:02 PM
To: *****@**********
Subject: MUST READ: Don’t believe them

Dear [Name of AARP Member],

If your inbox is anything like mine, you’re getting a lot of emails about how SCARY health reform is. From allegations about rationing care to wild reports of government-sponsored euthanasia, the rumors just keep getting crazier.

And I’ve had enough. Enough of the fear-mongering. Enough of the myths and unfounded rumors. Enough of the interest groups twisting the truth to stop health reform.

I’m fighting back – and I’m asking for your help!

Below I’ve debunked some of the common myths going around. Will you forward this email to your friends and help get the truth out about reform?

The truth is real reform is at risk because opponents are using scare tactics and slogans to gin up fear and misunderstandings. Don’t let that happen.


Barry Jackson
AARP Online Advocacy Manager

P.S. Let’s make sure everyone gets the truth. After you’ve forwarded the message below, please share these myths and facts on Facebook if you have an account, or post them on other networking sites. If you’re active on Twitter, please tweet the truth now.

******Delete the text above and forward this message to friends and family ******


My inbox has been flooded with emails spreading crazy rumors about health reform so I wanted to share some facts from AARP about what’s really going on. Please join me in forwarding these facts to everyone you know. Print them out and pass them around at your social gatherings and other places where people are discussing the issues of the day.

FACT #1: Medicare will not be ended, and no benefits or services will be cut.

Your services will not be ended, nor will your benefits be cut. AARP’s position on this could not be clearer. And we have sent this message loud and clear to Congress. While the current proposals include savings in Medicare by cutting out fraud, abuse, waste, and inefficiency, we’re standing up and making sure benefits for Medicare recipients are not only fully protected, but are improved.1

FACT #2: No legislation currently in Congress would mandate the rationing of care. Period.

Our staff has read all of the legislation circulating in Congress and there are no provisions in these bills that would ration care for our members. None. If any ever did, we would vigorously fight to stop that legislation.2

FACT #3: There is no provision of any piece of legislation that would promote euthanasia of any kind.

The rumors out there are flat out lies. Right now Medicare does not cover counseling for end-of-life care. The portion of the bill in question would simply provide coverage for optional end-of-life consultations with doctors, so that the patient can be aware of all of the treatment options on the table. It is not mandatory and it has nothing to do with euthanasia.3

FACT #4: We have not endorsed President Obama’s plan.

In fact, we haven’t endorsed any plan. We are supporting reform of our health care system, something that AARP has pushed for many years. We’re working closely with Republican and Democratic members of Congress to lower health care costs and to ensure quality affordable coverage for older Americans – and we want reform legislation passed and signed by the president this year.4

So what is AARP fighting for in health reform?

  1. Stopping insurance companies from charging older Americans unaffordable premiums because of their age.
  2. Ending the practice of excluding people from insurance because of pre-existing conditions.
  3. Holding down health costs and making insurance coverage more affordable for all Americans.
  4. Making prescription drugs more affordable by narrowing the Medicare doughnut hole, bringing generics to market faster, and allowing Medicare to negotiate better drug prices.

Find out more and take action at


[First name of AARP member]


1. “AARP to Congress: Don’t Make Medicare More Expensive,” AARP, July 30, 2009

2. “Debunked: Health Reform Means Rationed Care For Seniors,” AARP, August 4, 2009

3. “AARP Responds to Health Reform Scare Tactics,” AARP, July 24, 2009

4. “Obama Vows No Cuts To Medicare Benefits,” AARP, July 29, 2009

[This image is believed to be trademarked. It is being used to identify the organization AARP, a subject of public interest.]