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 TrumpFamily immigration detention centers could be at capacity within days: report Trump likely to meet with Putin in July: report DOJ requests military lawyers to help prosecute immigration crimes: report 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 RyanTrump backs down in rare reversal Trump, GOP launch full-court press on compromise immigration measure Meadows gets heated with Ryan on House floor 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.”