Democrats have been cheering the recent AARP endorsement of health reform legislation, with good reason. The group represents roughly 40 million Americans, granting it plenty of lobbying clout and power around election time. But Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) isn’t impressed. Branding AARP as “that liberal, Democratic group,” McCain today urged members to quit the association, arguing that its support for the scaled-back Medicare spending in the Democrats’ bill is a stab in the back to seniors.
“Take your AARP card, cut it in half and send it back,” he said. “They’ve betrayed you.”
If that sounds familiar, it’s because McCain said almost precisely the same thing last month when AARP endorsed the House bill.
Lost in the argument is AARP’s nuanced reasoning that the Democrats’ bill would preserve benefits under the traditional Medicare program, even if it scaled back some services under Medicare Advantage, the confusingly named program in which the government pays private insurance companies to cover Medicare patients.