WSJ Oped today on the AARP

Please explain to me why I shld keep my membership when this oped clearly shows the AARP in such a dark light 

Regular Social Butterfly

Hello, again, John...


Just checking in learn if you've found a free version of this op-ed for us to read and respond to?


Thank you in advance!



Phil Harris, actor and showman, to John Fogerty of CCR: “If I’d known I’d live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.”

Here’s the lead…


“Look where most of its revenue comes from. Hint: It isn’t members.

Kimberley Strassel poses an all-too-crucial question: “Whom Does AARP Serve?” (Potomac Watch, Aug. 5). It’s an inquiry we’ve had for quite some time, and unfortunately for AARP’s members, the answer isn’t seniors.

Ms. Strassel notes that 2020 was the first time AARP was paid over $1 billion in corporate royalties, much of it derived from UnitedHealth Group. Compare that with the roughly $300 million AARP receives from membership dues, and the conflict becomes clear. Even with a conservative baseline estimate of about 66% of AARP’s total royalty revenue, AARP still pulls in more from its deal with UnitedHealth Group, raking in over $661 million annually from selling health-insurance plans.”


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Honored Social Butterfly

If you think that the rest of the 990 is correct in their giving and actions, then wouldn't that mean that if they didn't have this income from the royalties that membership dues would be much higher. (much, much higher)


By joining any non-profit group, one should really understand what the group does and then decide if it is a good value and one which the goals of the organization are supported by the joiner.  This group ( is a 501(c)(4).


The makes contributions and grants to many other non-profit organizations (they are listed by name in the 990 for 2020); many are local or focused in their mission of all different types - from senior housing to fair hiring to gender/race/age equality and everything in-between.  Take a gander - would these organizations be something that you as a member support?  Yes or NO ?


The AARP Foundation to which the makes contributions is a 501(c)(3) organization - so the purpose of that organization also has to be scrutinized to get the full picture.  Do people here even know what the AARP Foundation does?


I think many people here have the wrong impression of what AARP does - I think they may think one way about what the organization does - but in actuality, what they believe isn't exactly what the AARP does.


I know what the AARP does - where they spend their money - what bills they support at the federal and state level and why.  They gather data and do research for many bills that they support.  They also do some pretty good informational articles - specifically for the over 50 crowd and most specifically on the older ones 65 and over on subjects that should be very important to them.  That's just a little of what they do - Heck, just having this community board up for people to communicate, play games and start all those just talking threads that last forever but mean alot - Songs and Dave's Front Porch.


Now for full disclosure - I AM NOT A MEMBER OF AARP - haven't been one for a very, very long time but I have been posting on this community board regularly since 2008.   So I guess I mooch - but I feel I do pay my dues with reliable link of information, reporting spam and the like.  They have thanked me many times.


So what exactly, without looking it up, do the members here think the AARP does or what do they think they should be doing?



It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
Regular Social Butterfly

Great question, John.


Please explain to me how I can read this oped without paying either the WSJ or the "author" for that privilege? Then we can discuss the membership issue, me thinks.


As the opening of the oped disparaged AARP Membership charging but then not supporting lower income seniors, how could we possibly afford subscriptions to read this?


Thank you in advance for providing free link to the oped!



Phil Harris, actor and showman, to John Fogerty of CCR: “If I’d known I’d live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.”

It’s include with Apple News, highly recommended. 

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