AARP accuses IPAB opponents of trying to ‘scare old people’ after it gets accused of ‘scare mongering’

Matthew Boyle Investigative Reporter
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The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) has come out again in favor of one of Obamacare’s most controversial components: the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). The group accuses IPAB’s opponents of trying to monger fear among seniors.

AARP’s John Rother told the Boston Globe earlier this week that his powerful lobbying group supports IPAB. Rother said that IPAB would hold down Medicare costs, adding that the AARP believes opponents are acting on behalf of the healthcare industry.

“The whole rationale for IPAB is to do an end run around the lobbying power of certain health industries, so obviously they are trying to protect their turf,’’ Rother said on Monday. “It’s so easy to scare old people but hopefully, people can see the motivations.’’

IPAB is a 15-member board, appointed by the president, that the administration will begin implementing in 2014. It will recommend how much money Medicare recipients, including seniors, can get for healthcare.

The board has come under fire as of late, with even Democratic congressmen signing onto IPAB repeal legislation sponsored by Tennessee Republican Rep. Phil Roe.

Opponents of IPAB say that it would ration healthcare and give too much power to a group of unelected officials. One of Roe’s seven Democratic co-sponsors, Rep. Allyson Schwartz of New York, called the board “flawed policy that will risk beneficiary access to care.”

(AARP drops opposition to Social Security cuts)

“Since Medicare’s inception, Congressional oversight of the program has ensured transparency and an open dialogue with our constituents that allow us to assess the needs and address the concerns of beneficiaries,” Schwartz said in a statement announcing her support of Roe’s legislation. “We cannot impose a financial burden on patients and providers to conceal inherent flaws in our health care system through arbitrary cuts.”

Roe told The Daily Caller in March that the board will make healthcare decisions for Medicare recipients based solely on costs without considering what care is necessary for seniors.

“Basically, there’s a certain amount of money that’s allocated for Medicare spending each year,” Roe said. “Once you hit that amount that’s been appropriated, this board, this bureaucratically-appointed board, can then decide, not based on quality or need, but based on strictly cost.”

This new AARP offensive comes immediately after the group was knocked by the Washington Post for a television ad that the newspaper said was filled with “significant factual error[s] and/or obvious contradictions.”

The Post ripped the AARP for using its advertisement to sensationalize the budget debate with “puny” government programs that “sound amusing or bizarre.”

According to the Post, the AARP used exaggerated imagery to advocate against the GOP’s ongoing push for deep spending cuts. The Post said the AARP used video of government programs like “shrimp on a treadmill,” “pickle technology” and “poetry in the zoos” to achieve its goal. The Post likened the AARP’s claim that Republicans are trying to cut Social Security to “scare mongering.”