House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Wally Herger (R-CA) and Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Charles Boustany, Jr, MD (R-LA) today announced that the Subcommittees on Health and Oversight will hold a hearing on AARP’s organizational structure, management, and financial growth over the last decade. The hearing will take place on Friday, April 1, 2011, in 1100 Longworth House Office Building, beginning at 9:00 A.M.

In announcing this hearing, Chairman Herger said, “AARP is known for being the largest and most well known seniors’ organization in the country. But what Americans don’t know is that AARP was the 4th highest spending lobbying organization between 1998 and 2010 or that the AARP brand dominates the private Medicare insurance market. This hearing is about getting to the bottom of how AARP’s financial interests affect their self-stated mission of enhancing senior’s quality of life. It is important to better understand how AARP’s insurance business overlaps with its advocacy efforts and whether such overlap is appropriate.”

In announcing the hearing, Chairman Boustany said, “As one of the country’s most well-known non-profits, many of America’s seniors trust AARP to represent their interests. But in light of AARP’s dependence on its income from insurance products, there is good reason to question whether AARP is primarily looking out for seniors or just its own bottom line. Before seniors decide whether AARP is worthy of their trust, or their hard-earned dollars, they deserve all of the facts. The purpose of this hearing is to provide a public examination of the facts so seniors can decide those questions for themselves.”

BACKGROUND:

AARP has long held itself out as the preeminent non-profit organization representing America’s seniors. However, the AARP collects billions of dollars each year through the sale and marketing of insurance products. Additionally, memberships on AARP’s corporate for-profit and tax-exempt non-profit boards overlap. Given the Committee’s responsibility to conduct rigorous oversight, jurisdiction over Medicare and sale of Medicare insurance products and sole jurisdiction over the tax code, the Committee will review AARP’s organizational structure and finances.


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