AARP targets five GOP senators on healthcare

AARP targets five GOP senators on healthcare
© Greg Nash

The AARP has launched a seven-figure TV ad buy pressuring five Republican senators to oppose the House’s healthcare bill.

The powerful lobbying group for seniors is targeting GOP Sens. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeMcCain rips Trump for attacks on press Bipartisan group to introduce DACA bill in House Flake's anti-Trump speech will make a lot of noise, but not much sense MORE (Ariz.), Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerDurbin: Senators to release immigration bill Wednesday GOP senators eager for Romney to join them Gardner: Bipartisan DACA solution possible despite Trump's 's---hole countries' comment MORE (Colo.), Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerDemocrats search for 51st net neutrality vote Nevada Dems unveil 2018 campaign mascot: 'Mitch McTurtle' Senate campaign fundraising reports roll in MORE (Nev.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSessions torched by lawmakers for marijuana move Calif. Republican attacks Sessions over marijuana policy Trump's executive order on minerals will boost national defense MORE (Alaska) and Dan Sullivan (Alaska).

The group, which consists of nearly 38 million members, has been vocal in its opposition to the House GOP healthcare bill, the American Health Care Act, saying the bill would make coverage more expensive and unaffordable for older people.

For instance, the bill lets insurers charge older adults five times more than younger people, while ObamaCare restricted carriers to only charging older adults three times more. AARP has blasted that provision as an “age tax.”

Additionally, the group says the bill weakens protections for those with pre-existing conditions and Medicare. 

“Older Americans are very worried about the cost of their health insurance,” Nancy LeaMond, AARP executive vice president, said in a statement. “AARP is taking a strong stand against the American Health Care Act for one simple reason: it is a bad bill."

The ad buy comes as Republican senators are working to craft an ObamaCare repeal-and-replace bill that can get through the upper chamber after the House narrowly passed its legislation earlier this month. 

A reconciliation bill — the fast-track budget maneuver the GOP is using to avoid a Democratic filibuster — only needs 51 votes to pass. However, Republicans in the Senate have a slim 52-48 majority and have vowed major changes on the House legislation.