Home Public Policy An Open Letter to the American Seniors Association (ASA)

Helping people age well.

An Open Letter to the American Seniors Association (ASA)

by Derrick

Dear American Seniors Association, I received your “Please Join Us For A ‘Shred Your AARP Card Rally'” notice the other day, and I thought, “seriously?”

When I first wrote about you back in August, after you made the news for attracting disgruntled AARP members that were angry about Obama’s health care plans, I questioned whether you could capitalize on your new media coverage and become a serious driving force in elder policy. I even sent you emails, offering suggestions.

I am not anti-AARP, but I thought your arrival could present an opportunity for healthy dialogue and new ideas. I have never felt that one view accurately represents all views. I had hoped you would become a respected, helpful organization that delivers honest information and new perspectives on elder policy.

I wrote about you again in October after I saw changes to your website, that you had started offering insurance, and I told people how to join. I noted that I had yet to see any professional research or resource work for seniors, however, only greater attention on generating revenue. While I understood the importance of securing cash flow in order to operate, that was the only work I was seeing.

Then in November I wrote about you one more time, saying I was disappointed in your distortion of the facts on the “death panel” subject. Now I see you are hosting an event for people to shred their AARP cards.

I am still disappointed, and I am losing hope.

I fully recognize that the AARP is a political organization and that they favor a certain agenda, and I have no problem with the fact that you do, but . . . seriously?

Can we as a nation, with you helping us, try moving away from anger and hate in public discourse? We are facing serious, complex public policy problems as our country ages – ALL of us – our seniors, the caregivers, and the children facing the long-term socio-economic impact from the elder wave’s wake.

Please, disagree with others if you like, I encourage it, but do so in a warmer, more informative and helpful way. You are still new enough to shape your identity.

Thank you.

– Derrick

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