AARP has replaced its usual nonpartisan kid gloves with boxing mitts in opposition to the Republican bid to repeal and replace Obamacare.
On Twitter over the past few days, one of the group’s branches ― AARP Advocates ― has targeted individual senators and let them know it is watching as the debate proceeds in the chamber. The lobbying Goliath tweeted its intention to inform every one of AARP’s roughly 38 million members just how their senators voted. And, the group has made clear, it better be a “no” vote.
“None of the current bills are the right way to fix health care,” read one tweet. “We remain unmoved in our opposition.”
Politicians historically have been loathe to get on the wrong side of an issue with seniors, given that it’s a demographic that tends to vote in higher percentage terms than other age groups.
AARP, meanwhile, touts its “proud history of nonpartisan voter engagement.” But in the fight over health care, what the GOP has in mind would cause too much pain, according to AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond. She said the measures as proposed in Congress would result in “higher costs and less coverage for older Americans.”
The group was disheartened when the Senate on Tuesday narrowly voted to start formal consideration of the repeal-and-replace effort, but it remains undeterred, said AARP spokesman Josh Rosenblum.
The issue “is front and center” on AARP’s agenda, Rosenblum said.
The outcome of the health care debate remains hard to determine. Maybe it depends on who some GOP senators are more afraid of: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) or the seniors listening to AARP.
In the meantime, here’s a sampling of the group’s messaging:
Here are a few AARP members who wanted to share their stories: