AARP Ad: Opponents of ObamaCare Oppose “Health Care Reform”

The “Ambulance Commercial” from AARP claims that the “special interest groups” are “trying to derail” the healthcare debate. Those who oppose “reform” are “spreading myths” about rationing of care. In case you’ve missed it, here’s the ad:

One of the things that really makes me angry about this debate is the way groups like AARP, the Obama Administration, and the Democrat Party use straw man arguments to characterize those of us who oppose government run healthcare are “anti-reform” or happy with the system the way it is. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I’m sure there are some who are GOP political hacks out there who oppose ObamaCare but would have no problem supporting RomneyCare or whatever variation of government healthcare McCain would have been pushing had he won the presidency. I get that. But despite what Rachel Maddow, Kieth Oberman, or any of these other Left-wing talking heads would have you believe, there actually are legitimate reasons to fear ObamaCare and not everyone who opposes it is not some sort of Right-wing lunatic.

So who is really spreading the “myths” about ObamaCare?

To be fair, I’m pretty sure it’s not the intention of Democrats to create healthcare rationing. Maybe proponents of the bill claim such things as “death panels” to be myths because such panels of bureaucrats are not part of the plan per se. Perhaps what the fans of big government do not understand is that rationing is inevitable, whether or not rationing is intended. If Red Lobster decided to serve steak and lobster for “free” to the general public every Saturday, one would imagine that there would be lines around the block and Red Lobster would run out of steak and lobster very quickly on Saturdays (and not everyone who stood in line would receive their free food).

The same is true for healthcare or any other product. If suddenly some 50 million uninsured individuals suddenly have access to “free” healthcare along with the remaining 250 million with no increase in the supply of healthcare providers, there will be shortages. Whenever there is a shortage of a product or service in a government controlled program, rationing is the only way to meet the needs for the greatest number. In other words, bureaucrats make the decision regarding who receives healthcare and who does not. The most likely choice will be that the elderly will be asked to sacrifice themselves for the good of “more productive” individuals (i.e. tax payers). This very phenomenon is already happening with vital organ transplants in the U.S. and around the world (with the notable exception of Iran of all places!).

But what is even more galling about the AARP ad than the complete ignorance regarding supply and demand is the notion that those who oppose ObamaCare are anti-reform. Just because some of us oppose ObamaCare does not make us anti-reform but simply anti-government healthcare. There are good free market approaches to health care reform; Cato Institute has an entire website dedicated to such approaches . I’m sure Dr. Ron Paul has some ideas and many other free market individuals as well but AARP, the Democrat Congress, nor the Obama Administration want to consider these approaches.

Couldn’t we just as easily say that they are anti-healthcare reform? If anyone is “derailing” the debate it would be AARP and their special interests.

If AARP believes “special interests” are obstacles to a quality healthcare system, just wait until they get their wish and politicians get between the patients and their doctors.

For those who would like to see the free market reforms Cato proposes, click on the banner below.

  • TerryP

    I think that AARP is right that special interests are obstacles to a quality healthcare system, but you can put the AARP at the top of that special interest list. They have gotten in the way of many reforms that would have reduced costs, limited gov’t, and put the individual more in charge of their own life.

  • mw

    I saw this ad half a dozen times before I could figure out what the hell is was supposed to mean. The visuals are so distracting that you don’t hear the voice over, unless you close your eyes and force yourself to listen to it.

    Everything you say about the disingenuous mis-characterizations in this ad is true, but there is no reason to worry about the message in this ad. It is so general, so opaque, with such disjointed clashing audio and visuals, that few will have the patience to even bother to try and understand it, and absolutely no one will be swayed by it. It is a stunning example of incredibly bad advertising and a waste of money.

    The people who should be furious with the AARP, is anyone who paid membership fees to the organization, regardless of which side of health care reform fence they are on. This ad is just flushing enormous amounts of their dues down the toilet to no effect whatsoever.

  • Quincy

    Our current hyper-regulated market system for health care is broken. The plans put forth by Democrats would enforce the worst of the status quo while sweeping away the few redeeming qualities it has. They call this “reform” when it is the precise opposite.

  • John Meyer

    I truly enjoyed your logic. If we gave healthcare to everyone that needed it YOU might not be able to get care. You have identified the fact that there are people who need health care but we should not provide it because it MIGHT affect you.
    By the way please change the picture in the “your new doctor clip” to be that of the United Health Care CEO who just left with a 300 million retirement package. You can call it “your current doctor”.

  • tarran


    I am going to let you in on a little secret:

    The government cannot provide medical care to all who need it.

    Anyone who tells yout otherwise is either deluded or willfully lying to you.

  • Norm


    That’s right if you give healthcare to everyone you will destroy the price signal that says we need more doctors.