The AARP may be facing some political blowback from Republicans after coming out in support of Obama’s health reform plan during the recent contentious debate. The nonprofit, which claims 37 million members, has been called upon by Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee to justify its tax-exempt status
Republicans charge the group with behaving less like an advocacy organization and more like an insurance company because of the royalties it receives from endorsing insurance products. For example, according to a Republican-led report on the group’s finances, AARP received less than 20 percent of its revenue from member dues but more than 45 percent from AARP-branded insurance coverage.
Democrats decried the hearing as a witch hunt, in part because what was supposed to be an oversight hearing for tax-exempt groups focused only on AARP. Democrats, however, have had their own complaints about the group. During George W. Bush’s presidency, it was Democrats leading the charge against AARP for supporting that administration’s Medicare drug plan.