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 TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump pens op-ed on kindergartners learning tech Bharara, Yates tamp down expectations Mueller will bring criminal charges Overnight Cybersecurity: Equifax security employee left after breach | Lawmakers float bill to reform warrantless surveillance | Intel leaders keeping collusion probe open MORE'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 Trump does, too ... Now it's Congress' turn. Tell them to protect Medicare." 

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 RyanThe Hill Interview: Budget Chair Black sticks around for now Gun proposal picks up GOP support GOP lawmaker Tim Murphy to retire at end of term 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.”