AARP Eye Center
AARP Connecticut volunteers and staff are visiting Capitol Hill today during Older Americans Month to urge CT's Congressional delegation to back bills, including the Older Americans Act, which can help Americans live their best lives. State Director Nora Duncan and volunteer State President, Laura Green, will make visits to the offices of U.S. Senator Chris Murphy D-CT, and Members of the U.S. House of Representatives Rosa DeLauro, Jim Himes and Elizabeth Esty to discuss a variety of issues crucial to older Americans.
“This Congress has an opportunity to pass bipartisan legislation that benefits older Americans from Connecticut including the reauthorization of the Older Americans Act, the landmark 1965 law that helps provide essential services to millions of our most vulnerable seniors,” said Green. “During the month that celebrates and recognizes older Americans, we urge Congress to take action on a long list of issues that matter to our AARP members in Connecticut and their families.”
The meetings are part of a national "Lobby Day" where hundreds of AARP volunteers and staff from around the country are traveling to Washington to meet with their elected representatives. The issues that AARP volunteers and staff raised with members of the House and Senate from every state include:
• The Older Americans Act (S.1562 / H.R.3850): The reauthorization of the bipartisan Older Americans Act provides an array of programs and services to assist, protect, nourish and sustain Connecticut’s seniors with maximum dignity and independence. In Connecticut, $15.5 million in funding for vulnerable seniors in 2014 goes to meal and nutrition services, caregiver support, and preventive health care, among other things. AARP has consistently supported and urged a reauthorization with minor changes to strengthen and improve this crucial law.
• Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR): Also known as the “Doc Fix,” Medicare beneficiaries and doctors shouldn’t have to deal with the uncertainty of short term solution after short term solution. Doctors and their patients deserve a stable, predictable reimbursement system that will encourage doctors and providers to deliver high-quality care. AARP supports a permanent repeal of SGR and a move toward a reimbursement system that promotes quality and value without shifting costs onto beneficiaries through higher cost-sharing or reduced benefits.
• Responsible Solutions for Medicare’s Adequacy and Solvency: AARP believes we can improve Medicare solvency by generating savings throughout the entire healthcare system, such as finding ways to reduce waste, fraud, and abuse; improving care coordination; and lowering prescription costs. This must also be achieved without shifting costs onto beneficiaries through higher cost-sharing or reduced benefits.
• The Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act (POWADA) (S.1391 / H.R.2852): The passage of the bipartisan POWADA would protect workers by reestablishing the principle that unlawful discrimination should not play a role in workplace decisions. A recent Supreme Court decision made it more difficult for older workers to prove claims of illegal bias based on age.
• The Safe Streets Act (S.2004 / H.R.2468): The passage of the bipartisan Safe Streets Act would ensure that planners and traffic engineers design, construct, and operate roads with the safety of all users in mind by directing states and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) to create a "safe streets" policy within two years of enactment. The policy would be different for each locality based on their individual communities.
Duncan said, “As Congress gets closer to a midterm election expected to once again see the influence of older voters, AARP hopes that the issues important to our members and all older Connecticut residents resonate clearly before they head to the voting booths in November.”