Throughout the tumultuous national debate over Obamacare, the American Association of Retired Persons had the president’s back at every turn. AARP was a prominent and vocal supporter of the unpopular overhaul, stubbornly insisting that seniors would benefit from the law’s provisions, despite strenuous objections from its members. Although the organization paid a significant price for its stance, it later emerged that alienating thousands of members may have been a profitable endeavor after all. In return for its political support, AARP will be the happy beneficiary of an enormous Obamacare windfall. If that weren’t galling enough, today we learn that the organization — which, again, energetically lobbied for the bill’s passage — will receive a White House-approved waiver from elements of the law they’d prefer not to follow:
The Daily Caller has learned that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) rate review rules, which it finalized on Thursday, exempt “Medigap” policy providers, like the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), from oversight when such providers increase payment rates for their supplemental insurance plans.
Insurance providers who aren’t exempt from Obamacare’s rate review rules are required to publicly release and explain some health care payment rate increases. The AARP is the nation’s biggest seller of Medigap policies, or supplemental healthcare plans that add onto what Medicare won’t cover for seniors. The senior citizens interest group advocated for Obamacare to include an attack on Medigap policies’ biggest competitor, Medicare Advantage.
Though the White House and HHS dismiss allegations of political favoritism when it comes to who’s getting exceptions from the new health care regulations – such as in the recent uproar over the disproportionate number of Obamacare waivers that went to companies in House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s district — Obamacare critics say the mere appearance of the administration helping friends is disturbing.