AARP launches ad campaign urging Republicans to 'protect' Medicare

One of the most influential lobbying groups for senior citizens launched a national ad campaign Monday aimed at pressuring Republican lawmakers into "protecting" Medicare. 

In a seven-figure digital and TV ad buy, AARP focuses on President Donald Trump's past comments about leaving Medicaid and Social Security benefits untouched. 

"You've earned your Medicare. It was a deal that was made long ago, and AARP believes it should be honored," a narrator says in the ad. 

"Thankfully, President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for ‘serious case of amnesia’ after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I don’t want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MORE does, too ... Now it's Congress' turn. Tell them to protect Medicare." 

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Republicans have long warned that Medicare and other entitlements would go bankrupt without a major overhaul. 

Both Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), Trump's pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, and House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanMcConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees House Republican: 'I worry about both sides' of the aisle on DACA Overnight Health Care: 3.6M signed up for ObamaCare in first month | Ryan pledges 'entitlement reform' next year | Dems push for more money to fight opioids MORE (R-Wis.) have pushed for privatizing Medicare. 

That puts them at odds with Trump, who campaigned extensively on leaving the programs untouched. 

Trump's Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said earlier this month said Trump intends to keep that promise. 

“I don’t think President-elect Trump wants to meddle with Medicare or Social Security,” Priebus said.

 “He made a promise in the campaign that that was something that he didn’t want to do.”

The AARP says privatization would increase costs and risks for seniors. 

"We will continue to oppose changes to current law that cut benefits, increase costs, or reduce the ability of these critical programs to deliver on their benefit promises," AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins said in a recent letter to Congress.

"We urge you to continue to do so as well.”