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 FlakeGrassley agrees to second Kavanaugh hearing after GOP members revolt Murkowski echoes calls for Kavanaugh, accuser to testify Kavanaugh, accuser to testify publicly on Monday MORE (Ariz.), Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerSome employees' personal data revealed in State Department email breach: report Colorado governor sets up federal PAC before potential 2020 campaign Hillicon Valley: Trump signs off on sanctions for election meddlers | Russian hacker pleads guilty over botnet | Reddit bans QAnon forum | FCC delays review of T-Mobile, Sprint merger | EU approves controversial copyright law MORE (Colo.), Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerPoll: Dean Heller running even against Democratic challenger Dems gain momentum 50 days before midterms California was once the epicenter of pollution — time to learn from its green transition MORE (Nev.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiMurkowski echoes calls for Kavanaugh, accuser to testify Kavanaugh, accuser to testify publicly on Monday Kavanaugh furor intensifies as calls for new testimony grow 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.