Interest group politics have been crucial to American politics for almost a decade. The interest groups act as a vehicle to allow groups of people to remain informed about key issues that they care about and coordinate campaigns to support their stance on those issues.
Interest groups can pressure both politicians and the general public to vote in a way that favors the interest group’s ideas through campaigns and donations. Prior to and during the Trump administration, donors and interest group support were widely discussed in the media.
As the administration reaches the end of its first year in office, the AARP has run a notable campaign with messages aimed to prevent key Trump legislature from becoming a reality.
The AARP is an interest group that is focused on helping the elderly, particularly with getting a fair retirement. The group had pitched a message aimed directly at the seniors who supported Donald J. Trump for president. The message arrived as the administration was making successful steps towards changing major policy like the repealing of Obamacare.
The organization ran a radio ad that challenged the President’s identity as an agent of change, arguing that the controversial proposed healthcare bill will be an “age tax” for the elderly.
“You walked into the voting booth. You thought it through. You cast your ballot. But the new health care bill in Congress is not the change you voted for. In fact, it’s loaded with everything you voted against,” the spot argues. “That’s not the change you had in mind when you cast your ballot. And that’s why you should call your member of Congress today.”
The AARP remains one of many interest groups that are seeking to pressure lawmakers and prevent the repealing and replacement of Obamacare. The group effectively ran an ad campaign that spoke directly to President Trump’s supporters and asked them to vote against his interests.
As the Trump administration is gaining footing, they successfully pushed their tax bill through legislation and into law. Because the tax bill will produce a net harm to Americans within a foreseeable future, interest groups are needing to gear up to run campaigns that aim to reverse and prevent any future negative effects from the tax bill.
The tax plan, which deeply cuts tax rates for businesses but provides only temporary tax relief for most households and will likely raise health care costs for millions of older Americans, has been opposed by the AARP. The AARP has also urged Congress to waive required cuts to Medicare under PAYGO, as seniors could lose access to their doctors and local hospital services.