Serving Kentucky, Delivering for Members
For more than 50 years, AARP has been serving its members and society by creating positive social change. AARP Kentucky first opened its doors in 2001 and has worked consistently to enhance the quality of life for all as we age by leading positive social change in Kentucky with information, advocacy, and service.
Our 2013 Kentucky General Assembly legislative agenda provides an overview of the range of advocacy issues AARP Kentucky is advancing to enable individuals age 50-plus to get the most out of life. For more than a decade, AARP Kentucky has focused on the issues most important to our members:
Ensuring Real Choices for Long-Term Services and Supports Enhancing Retirement Security Accessing Affordable Health Care Fighting for Budget and Tax Fairness Protecting Consumers
With more than 460,000 Kentucky members, AARP is the Commonwealth’s largest grassroots social change organization. Since 2001, AARP Kentucky actively sought to empower and mobilize grassroots citizen advocates supporting its state and federal legislative priorities.
AARP Kentucky staff, volunteers and supporters will focus on improving access to affordable health coverage, home and community based services, budget and tax fairness, and enhancing consumer protections. We determine our legislative agenda with AARP member input and surveys, previous legislative issues, and national policy priorities determined by our national volunteer Board.
Ensuring Real Choices for Long-Term Services and Supports
Americans over age 65 are the fastest-growing segment of the population. Research shows they overwhelmingly want to remain in their homes and communities as they age. 89% of AARP Kentucky members polled said they want to live in their own homes and not a nursing home.
It’s time Kentucky cut waiting lists, not people.
- 81 % of state Medicaid dollars consumed by long-term care facilities
- 19,000 waiting for services from the Department of Aging and Independent Living
- 9,000 waiting for senior meals
- 3,200 waiting for homemaker services
- $69,003 average yearly cost of nursing home care in Kentucky
- $17,000 average cost of delivering in-home services
- End the Wait, Fill the Plate Campaign - AARP supports improving the balance of funding for home- and community-based services (HCBS) by redirecting spending away from costly institutional care and towards supports and services in the community. These vital and cost-effective services promote consumer choice, help Kentuckians live independently and save taxpayer dollars.
- Area Agencies on Aging – AARP seeks increased funding for local senior services to meet growing demands and reducing waiting lists for services. These include: meals-on-wheels, senior information and assistance, home care, and local senior centers.
Accessing Affordable Health Coverage
AARP is fighting to make health coverage more accessible and affordable to older Kentuckians.
State Health Insurance Exchange – AARP supports creating a state health insurance marketplace allowing individuals, families and small businesses to find and select a health insurance plan that fits their needs. AARP is actively engaged as the state implements its Health Benefits Exchange program as provided for in the Affordable Care Act of 2010.
Medicaid Expansion – AARP supports increasing Medicaid income eligibility standards as provided by for in the Affordable Care Act of 2010. Kentucky has the option of expanding its program up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level covering an estimated 300,000 or more Kentuckians. Fifteen percent of Kentuckians, roughly 640,000 residents, have no health insurance.
Fighting for Consumers
Reliable and Affordable Utility Services- As income declines, expenditures on utilities become a larger portion of the household budget for those aged 50 and older. In 2013, AARP Kentucky will continue its utilities advocacy efforts with an emphasis on:
- Opposing legislation that would unfairly deregulate or restructure basic telephone service;
- Working to ensure that telecommunications service providers, including wireless and broadband, offer services customers can depend on;
- Defeating or mitigating proposed increases in utility rates for consumers;
- Supporting the Lifeline and LinkUp telephone assistance programs for low-income customers and streamlined enrollment options.
- AARP continues opposing efforts to limit nursing home residents’ basic access to justice. The nursing home industry has sought legislation requiring claims of abuse or neglect to first be presented before a “medical review panel” to determine if a claim has merit. If passed, the new law would create a review panel of appointed lawyers, doctors and other health care professionals with authority to review all claims of neglect or wrongdoing before the claim is filed in court.
Enhancing Retirement Security
Strengthen Public Employee Retirement Systems - AARP will engage in legislative efforts to protect retirees from reduction or elimination of promised pension benefits, preserve access to defined benefit plans and cost of living adjustments, and limit taxation of retirement income. Today’s retirees and future retirees have paid into the system over a lifetime of work and are counting on the public employee retirement systems.
- AARP Kentucky’s advocacy is focused on retaining the systems defined benefit plans and assure solvency for the future generations.
Fighting for Tax Fairness - AARP is committed to ensuring that reforms made to state tax structures are progressive and safeguard the financial security of the 50-plus population. In addition to raising sufficient revenue, state and local tax systems should follow the general guiding principles of equity, neutrality, administrative efficiency, and consistency with broader social goals.
- Deficit-reduction efforts should avoid cuts in programs that serve low- and moderate-income populations.
- Adjustments must be made in recommendations from the Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform.
AARP Kentucky State Office
10401 Linn Station Road, Suite 121
Louisville, Kentucky 40223
Our legislative advocacy continues to be mission driven and focuses on the needs of today’s seniors and future generations. AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 460,000 Kentuckians. AARP helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. Learn more aarp.org