By Michael K. Broughton in St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Why is the American Association of Retired Persons supporting a company that wants to keep its financial boot on the throats of AARP members? Universal health care for all Americans makes sense. A government program for all Americans would distribute the cost of claims to many, rather than a few. It would lower costs by collecting a small premium from many, and it would eliminate profit, which is inherent to private insurers. So, government could deliver quality health care at minimal expense.

Some Democratic candidates for president support Medicare for All, or universal health care. If implemented, private insurers would lose billions of dollars in profit. So it is no surprise that proponents of universal health care face stiff resistance from health insurance companies. Among those desiring to torpedo universal healthcare is Steve Nelson, CEO of UnitedHealthcare, a major player in the private medical insurance industry that garnered $226 billion in business last year. In a leaked video from a company meeting in April, Nelson bragged about United’s efforts to defeat Democratic legislative efforts to implement Medicare for All. They include contributions to Democratic lawmakers to secure their vote against Medicare for All.

Implementation of Medicare for All is certain to lower the cost of medical insurance for older adults. Currently, Medicare provides health care coverage to older Americans, many of whom get additional coverage via a Medicare supplement sold by UnitedHealthcare. AARP offers Medicare supplement insurance provided by UnitedHealthcare. Why is AARP supporting a company that wants to keep its financial boot on the throats of AARP members?

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