AARP and Its Political Agenda

The paper discusses history, objectives, programs and lobby activities of AARP, an organization that supports citizens over the age of 50.

This paper discusses AARP’s role in addressing the needs of older Americans and their work to influence the passage of beneficial legislation on the State and Federal level. The paper examines AARP’s major issues such as prescription drugs, long-term care and predator lending and the methods AARP’S use to influence lawmakers. The author is critical of AARP’s effectiveness and presents suggestions for improvement.
“American Association of Retired People was founded in 1958 by Ethel Percy and was originally called the National Retired Teachers Association (NRTA). The purpose of this organization was to purchase group health insurance for retired school teachers. The AARP grew out of the NRTA with the goal of becoming a broader advocacy group. During their first two years 300,000 new members joined this new organization. Today, the AARP has over 35 million members in all 50 states. They now offer insurance packages and discounts from companies who use AARP as a means to market their product. In an effort to attract Baby Boomers as members they changed their name in 1999 to simply AARP and also lowered the age for membership from 55 to 50. The purpose of this was to encourage Baby Boomers to join, by redesigning themselves to accommodate the needs of this fast growing population over the age of 50.”