Tool of Insurance Industry

June 25, 2010

Rutland Herald

Although Jim Leddy, the representative of the AARP members to the national organization, is a principled man, one question not yet answered is “Why appoint him?”

AARP is a billion-dollar-a-year business, with $600 million of its revenue generated by merchandising — and AARP gets 10 percent on the premiums it generates through policy packages it merchandises to Vermont’s elderly.

So why should this particular principled man get appointed to the commission? Why not appoint someone equally as upstanding who does not have this taint? The most plausible answers have everything to do with torpedoing the commission’s duty to come up with a health care plan for all; the least plausible have everything to do with turning AARP into a charity willing to forego immense profits.

As a money-making organization, AARP has a lot to lose if Jim Leddy proceeds to act in behalf of Vermonters who are uninsured, overcharged, hit with rescissions and denials or dropped from coverage. It is far more plausible that he will be, unwittingly or not, their cat’s paw.

CHUCK GREGORY

Springfield