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December 18, 2009
The Honorable Wally Herger
242 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
The Honorable Ginny Brown-Waite
414 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
The Honorable David Reichert
1730 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Representatives Herger, Brown-Waite and Reichert:
AARP is in receipt of your latest letter, dated December 9, 2009. Over the past few months, AARP has welcomed the opportunity to clarify its position on the proposed health care reform legislation, answer your questions, engage in a constructive dialogue on the critical health care issues facing older Americans, and discuss AARP's role in the debate.
As you know, on October 1, 2009, AARP responded, in writing, to Representative Reichert's letter of September 21, 2009; on November 2, 2009, AARP responded, again in writing, to Representative Reichert's second letter of October 23, 2009; on November 18,2009, three senior AARP staffers and I met with all three of you in-person for an extensive discussion of AARP positions. Additionally, on November 26, 2009, we followed up that discussion by delivering to the Subcommittee on Health of the House Committee on Ways and Means, various AARP tax documents, including the 2008 Form 990s for AARP and the AARP Foundation.
As has been the case throughout our dialogue with you, we are fully committed to being as cooperative as possible in providing requested information. While we all want what is best for the American people in regard to health care reform, we have differing opinions on the best way to achieve that reform. We will continue do our best to answer further questions you may have on the critical public policy issues facing older Americans. In addition, we are providing the documents and information below in response to your December 9 letter.
AARP has twenty-three Board members, and their names and biographies are listed in the attached 2008 AARP Annual Report (Exhibit A). AARP Services, Inc. (ASI) and AARP Financial Inc. (AFI) both have the same group of eight Board members, and their names and biographies are listed in the attached 2008 ASI Annual Report (Exhibit A)1 Two of the eight AS II AFI Board members are also members of the AARP Board of Directors. There are seven trustees who sit on the AARP Insurance Plan (the "Trust") and each of these individuals is also a member of the AARP Board. A list of the trustees is attached (Exhibit B).
Tax Forms and Organizational Documents
As indicated above, we have previously submitted the Form 990s for tax year 2008 for AARP and the AARP Foundation. Attached hereto, as Exhibit C, are the publicly available AARP and the AARP Foundation 990s for tax years 2006 and 2007. The tax returns for the AARP Trust, ASI and AFI are confidential documents which federal law does not require to be disclosed.
Additionally, as mentioned above, for your general information, we are attaching the 2008 Annual Reports for AARP, the AARP Foundation, ASI and AFI (Exhibit A), and AARP's Consolidated Financial Statements for the years ending December 31, 2007 and 2008 (Exhibit D). Again, we emphasize that the public policy positions AARP takes and that we have discussed with you are developed through a process that is independent of any royalty-generating activities.
AARP does not receive grants; however, its affiliated 50l(c)(3) charitable organization, the AARP Foundation, does receive grants. Documents listing the federal grants and contracts from 2000 through October 31, 2009, are attached as Exhibit E. We have also attached, as part of Exhibit E, a brief history and explanation of the AARP Foundation.
We routinely make these disclosures pursuant to House Rule XI, Clause 2(g), which requires non-government witnesses to disclose their receipt of federal grants or contracts prior to testifying.
In addition to providing these Exhibits, which include information related to a number of your questions, the following points address other specific questions in your letter:
Other questions contained in your letter of December 9, 2009, pertain to information that has already been provided, or, as we have explained, is non-public or confidential and proprietary to AARP and/or its member benefit providers.
Please know that AARP welcomes meaningful dialogue with you and other Members of Congress on the important issues surrounding health care reform, as well as other legislative issues of importance to older Americans. We look forward to working with you in the future.
Thomas C. Nelson
Chief Operating Officer
1 There is one small change from the list of ASIJAFI Board members in the 2008 ASI Annual Report: A. Barry Rand became AARP's CEO in April2009 and now sits as an ex officio Board member (instead of Bill Novelli, the former CEO of AARP).
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