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 FlakeMcSally campaign to suspend TV ads, canvassing amid pandemic Coronavirus isn't the only reason Congress should spend less time in DC Trump Jr. says he inherited 'Tourette's of the thumbs' from his father MORE (Ariz.), Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerGOP senator calls for investigation into 'mismanagement' of strategic ventilators Romney says he tested negative for coronavirus, will remain in quarantine Senate GOP super PAC books more than million in fall ads MORE (Colo.), Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerOn The Trail: Democrats plan to hammer Trump on Social Security, Medicare Lobbying World Democrats spend big to put Senate in play MORE (Nev.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiLawmakers announce legislation to fund government purchases of oil Oil giants meet at White House amid talk of buying strategic reserves GOP senators begin informal talks on new coronavirus stimulus 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.

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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.