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Even senior advocacy and politics mix

Even senior advocacy and politics mix

Politics these days manifests itself in senior citizen advocacy, with conservative-bent groups such as AMAC questioning motives of the long-established AARP.



Posted: Thursday, August 3, 2017 10:30 am
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Updated: 11:09 am, Fri Aug 4, 2017.

Even senior advocacy and politics mix

by Michael Gannon, Editor

Queens Chronicle

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0 comments

Want to know how pervasive politics has become in Americans’ daily lives? Just consider some of the group discounts senior citizens receive on travel, car rentals and even movie tickets and cups of coffee.

Those are some of the basic benefits, among myriad others, that are offered by AARP, formerly the American Association of Retired Persons, founded in 1958; and the Association of Mature American Citizens, founded in 2007 with the express purpose of offering seniors a more politically conservative alternative.

AARP’s website claims 38 million members. AMAC has just under 1.5 million. Both offer members assistance in enrolling in Medicare and private insurance plans; both offer discounts on things like prescription drugs and other medical needs, hotel accommodations, financial planning and others. While newer to the game and without AARP’s numbers and financial backing, AMAC says its list of benefits and services is growing.

But there can be no more stark demonstration of the groups’ differences than the future of the Affordable Care Act, known in the vernacular as Obamacare.

AARP, on its website, opposed the repeal-and-replace measure offered by Congressional Republicans, saying it would require seniors to pay more for insurance; new plans might not cover all required services; some Medicare services might be lost; and many people could lose medical coverage outright.

AMAC, on its website, openly advocated for repeal, supporting measures that would loosen restrictions on health savings accounts; return control of healthcare to states and patients; and lower prescription drug costs.

Josh Rosenblum, a spokesman for AARP, said the organization has 2.6 million members in New York State, including 800,000 in New York City and 215,000 in Queens. He said there is one trait his group and AMAC share.

“We like any organization that advocates for people over 50,” he said.

As for politics, Rosenblum said the group’s membership is roughly 1/3 each Democrat, Republican and independent, and that it does not donate to candidates, while trying to work with both parties when attempting to advance legislation.

“We’re nonpartisan and we take that very seriously,” he said. But he also acknowledged that AARP has taken hits from conservative citizens and groups for its support in the past for things like Medicare part B and the ACA.

“Things that have turned out to be popular,” he said. Rosenblum said the group has expanded its services and advocacy to combat the isolation some seniors face in the community; and others to combat senior hunger and nutritional needs in the country.

He said information and advice on those and other topics are free for everyone to access on their websites and social media pages.

Both also offer information and tips for seniors to protect themselves and their identities from predators. AARP offers information on its Fraud Watch feature. AMAC, on its Facebook page, has an article on protecting seniors from Social Security scams and others.

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Thursday, August 3, 2017 10:30 am.

Updated: 11:09 am.



Aarp,



Amac

Article source: http://www.qchron.com/editions/queenswide/even-senior-advocacy-and-politics-mix/article_a8105001-2b2d-535d-b0c7-e24fdcd0d7fc.html

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