AARP has replaced its usual nonpartisan kid gloves with boxing mitts in opposition to the Republican bid to repeal and replace Obamacare. 

On Twitter over the past few days, one of the group’s branches ― AARP Advocates ― has targeted individual senators and let them know it is watching as the debate proceeds in the chamber. The lobbying Goliath tweeted its intention to inform every one of AARP’s roughly 38 million members just how their senators voted. And, the group has made clear, it better be a “no” vote.

“None of the current bills are the right way to fix health care,” read one tweet. “We remain unmoved in our opposition.”

Politicians historically have been loathe to get on the wrong side of an issue with seniors, given that it’s a demographic that tends to vote in higher percentage terms than other age groups.

AARP, meanwhile, touts its “proud history of nonpartisan voter engagement.” But in the fight over health care, what the GOP has in mind would cause too much pain, according to AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond. She said the measures as proposed in Congress would result in “higher costs and less coverage for older Americans.” 

The group was disheartened when the Senate on Tuesday narrowly voted to start formal consideration of the repeal-and-replace effort, but it remains undeterred, said AARP spokesman Josh Rosenblum.

The issue “is front and center” on AARP’s agenda, Rosenblum said.

The outcome of the health care debate remains hard to determine. Maybe it depends on who some GOP senators are more afraid of: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) or the seniors listening to AARP.

In the meantime, here’s a sampling of the group’s messaging:  

AARP will inform our 38 million members how each and every Senator votes on health care today. #VoteNo

Senators: as you vote, remember your constituents. Ask yourself if this bill meets the basic test of lowering costs & improving coverage.

Health care is not a political football. It's about REAL people – parents, children, spouses – who need affordable care to survive.

Again: it doesn't matter if it’s AHCA, BCRA or repeal-and-delay. #VoteNo on any bill that ⬆️ costs & ⬇️ coverage for older Americans.

These proposals would have imposed an age tax, weakened pre-existing condition protections & stripped coverage from millions of Americans.

Here are a few AARP members who wanted to share their stories:


James is a struggling retiree in Alaska who fears this bill will make it hard for him to pay for his medicines & food.

Paula is an older Ohioan who will be forced to pay over $1000 more a MONTH if this bill passes.

Renate is an Ohio physician who fears her patients will go bankrupt under this bill due to skyrocketing costs.

Paul is a retired Mainer with an intestinal issue that is considered a pre-existing condition. Under this bill, his premiums would soar.