AARP Received $18 Million In Stimulus Money

by Philip Klein
The American Spectator

AARP, which has given its full-throated support to Democratic health care legislation even though seniors remain largely opposed, received an $18 million grant in the economic stimulus package for a job training program that has not created any jobs, according to the Obama administration’s website.

The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), according to the website, is “a work training program for unemployed mature workers who are 55+ and are at or below 125% of the poverty guidelines.” So far, $6.5 million has been spent on the program, and it has not reported creating any jobs.

In February, the Politico reported that AARP was putting pressure on Republican members of Congress to support the stimulus package.

Since then, AARP has moved on to lobbying for passage of health care legislation, even though Democratic proposals have called for several hundred billion dollars in cuts to Medicare, a program that the group typically defends tooth and nail when Republicans propose cutting it. A recent Pew survey found that just 31 percent of those over 65 supported health care legislation being touted by AARP.

As it turns out, AARP is also in a position to benefit financially if the health care legislation passes, because seniors losing benefits as a result of cuts to Medicare Advantage will be forced to buy Medigap policies, which is the main source of AARP revenue.

Barry Rand, the chief executive of AARP, was a big donor to the Obama campaign and has retained a cozy relationship with the administration.

The article, with AARP’s response, continues at The American Spectator.

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