Page 9 - Senior Times South Central Michigan - May 2019- 26-05
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Senior Times - May 2019 AARP Announces 2019
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Heartland Health Care Center – Battle Creek
By: Pat Fosdick
Legislative Goals
The annual American Association of Retired Persons/Michigan, better known as AARP College, gathering was in high gear this year primarily because of the 60th Anniversary of AARP’s founding. The theme was “Connecting to the Future.”
“B,” in unpaid care annually to loved ones. They daily face challenges and deserve recognition and support. AARP endorses the Credit for Caring Act that proposes a non-refundable federal tax credit of up to $3,000 to eligible work- ing family caregivers, who face the financial challenges of caregiving.
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A replica of its founder, Ethel Percy Andus, could be found in many loca- tions throughout the event. Ms. Andus was a long-time educator and the first woman high school principal in the State of California. She first formed the National Retired Teachers Association (NRTA) and as a result of her success in finding affordable health insurance for NRTA, she realized there was a greater need on the part of other retired persons and thus formed AARP in 1958.
There is concern for the Older Americans Act (OAA), which supports a wide-range of programs for persons 60 years and older, that is due to expire in September. The invaluable programs under the Act include: home delivered and congregate meals, elder abuse pro- tection, family caregivers training, and many other support services. AARP will continue to keep on task to make sure OAA is extended and improved.
AARP has been and continues to
be instrumental in many of the legisla- tive actions that have taken place both locally and nationally; such as, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 and more recently the Family and Medical Leave Act.
AARP’s stance on Social Security is, “We will continue to seek com- mon ground for legislative action for Social Security adequacy and solvency, and will advocate for common-sense improvements in the administration of the Social Security Program.”
The legislative goals AARP will focus on in 2019 include: to protect and strengthen Medicare and other health care coverage, lowering pre- scription drug prices, supporting family caregivers, and maximizing the independence of older adults.
The Medical Expense Deduction, which was raised to an income thresh- old of 10 percent this year needs to return to the 7.5 percent threshold that expired the end of 2018. AARP will continue to point out the importance of this tax relief that helps offset the high out-of-pocket costs for acute and chronic medical conditions of older adults, children, and people with dis- abilities.
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There is a great need to help people 50 and older to lead healthier lives, to improve retirement income security, and to ensure that people of all ages have financial resiliency to take control of their retirement.
AARP advocates for Livable Communities through improved infra- structure that promotes healthy, livable communities and supports aging in place. It is important that communities and their governing bodies understand and acknowledge the importance of features that promote physical indepen- dence and that increases opportunities for community engagement as the pop- ulation ages.
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AARP will continue to advocate for protecting Medicare benefits and will continue to oppose any changes that will weaken or shift more risk and costs to seniors.
High and continuing rising drug prices are a current priority that needs to be addressed. The position of AARP is for Medicare to have greater drug pricing negotiation authority. There is also concern that the Medicare Part D recent donut hole improvements remain and not rollback.
AARP has come a long way over the past 60 years. It is recognized as a strong force and advocate for not only older Americans, but also the commu- nity in general, because the senior pop- ulation continues to be a vibrant source for the sustainability and economy of their communities and the nation.
It was pointed out that family care- givers provide $470 billion, with a
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