AARP – 1.5 million members strong in Ohio – is working to improve the lives of all Ohioans through advocacy, information and community service. Our legislative priorities reflect members’ needs and interests, and are consistent with AARP national public policies and priorities. Through the leadership of our all-volunteer Executive Council, AARP Ohio has set 2013 state legislative priorities to focus on protecting and improving in-home and community-based long-term care services, expanding access to affordable healthcare, and organizing support for affordable and reliable home energy and utilities.
AARP Ohio’s focus is on:
HELPING PEOPLE STAY IN THEIR OWN HOME
- Increasing the number of Ohioans being served in their homes through the PASSPORT program without waiting lines for service. The Governor has committed to having no waiting lines for in-home services and AARP will ensure this is a reality.
- Ensuring the continued improvement of Home and Community Based Services (HCBS), which allow citizens to remain independent and avoid more costly nursing home placement.
- Monitoring and offering recommendations for improving proposals to make significant changes to the Medicaid system. Federal approval to implement an Integrated Care Delivery System (ICDS) for Ohioans served in the Medicaid program (who are also covered by Medicare) has been achieved. Ohio must now take specific actions to ensure this program is a success. AARP will be advocating specific implementation steps to ensure consumers are properly assisted in making decisions for their care and that high quality providers of service are available to all.
ACCESSING AFFORDABLE HEALTH COVERAGE
- Establishing a state health insurance marketplace that is operated in a way that protects consumers against discrimination and fraud; governed by strong conflict-of-interest provisions; and enables individuals, families and small businesses to find and select a health insurance plan that fits their needs.
- Advocating for a transparent health insurance premium rate review process that protects consumers from unjustified health insurance premium rate increases.
- Expanding Medicaid coverage for individuals with incomes of 133 percent of the federal poverty level without reducing any of the non-mandatory coverage currently provided those individuals receiving Medicaid coverage.
IMPROVING HEALTH CARE QUALITY
- Lowering costs and improving health care outcomes by pursuing quality improvement initiatives for health systems that reduce medical errors, eliminate unnecessary or inappropriate hospitalizations, improve care coordination, enhance evidence-based treatment decisions and provides payment innovations which improve the quality of care while lowering the costs.
- Assuring public reporting of quality-of-care metrics.
FIGHTING FOR THE UTILITY CONSUMER
- Engaging in state regulatory proceedings to defeat or mitigate excessive residential utility bill increases and to make sure that the voice of residential customers is heard at the PUCO.
- Opposing actions that would leave residential customers vulnerable to cost-shifting by utility companies.
- Advocating for “smart meter” consumer protections including privacy safeguards and prohibitions on mandatory time variant rates and prepayment service.
- Preventing the loss of low cost land line telephones for those Ohioans who depend on these services to provide the connections needed for their health and safety.