AARP works to improve our aging state population’s financial and health security, including our 1.1 million AARP members and their families. Legislative support is requested to prioritize and implement the following:
PUT A SECURE FUTURE WITHIN REACH
Simplify Saving for the Future:
The pandemic has shown how vital it is to have savings to depend on. Research shows that people are 15 times more likely to save if they can do so out of their regular paycheck. Yet, 1.7 million private-sector workers do not have access to a workplace retirement savings plan particularly if employed by small businesses.
AARP supports legislation establishing a private-public partnership to provide a no-cost, plug and play retirement solution for small businesses to help more employees build a safety net and grow the savings they need out of their regular paycheck. By helping more workers save, NC will save taxpayer dollars while empowering families to take control of their financial future.
ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE
Find innovative solutions and remove barriers to increase access and affordability of health care. AARP NC supports many of the bipartisan solutions being considered:
Modernize Law to Allow Full Practice Authority for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN):
AARP supports bringing North Carolina in line with the majority of other states and the Veterans Health Administration by authorizing Nurse Practitioners and other APRNs to provide care to the full extent of their education, experience, and licensure. Doing so will improve access to quality healthcare, particularly in rural areas, and help put downward pressure on the cost of healthcare.
Develop Comprehensive Telehealth Policies:
AARP supports legislation to develop comprehensive statewide telehealth policies and clear implementation guidelines that will improve access to quality health care for all North Carolinians. Barriers to full use of telehealth such as access to high-speed internet (also known as broadband) and other communication technologies in rural areas must be addressed.
Lowering Prescription Drug Prices:
AARP is calling on lawmakers to enact solutions that will protect seniors and taxpayers from price gouging by big drug companies. Medications don't work if people can't afford them. Strategies include state importation of prescription drugs, Rx price caps, Rx affordability boards and Rx transparency. Solutions must cut drug prices now and not simply shift costs around in the system.
COVID-19 RESPONSE AND RECOVERY
Nursing Home Safety and Long-Term Care (LTC):
The pandemic has hit older adults the hardest. Nearly 40% of deaths related to COVID-19 are from nursing homes and LTC facilities, while nursing home residents make up less than 1% of the population. We will continue to fight to protect residents of LTC facilities by advocating for: funding for and access to prioritized testing and adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) for facility residents and staff; access to safe in-person and virtual visitation; and improved quality of care for residents through adequate staffing, oversight, and access to in-person formal advocates, called LTC ombudsmen.
Finally, COVID-19 has highlighted the urgent need for increased supports for family caregivers and the need for an adequate, well-trained workforce, like home health aides and personal care workers now and for our growing aging population.
AARP is calling for older Americans to be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccines because the science has shown that older people are at higher risk of death. Furthermore, AARP urges lawmakers to take a proactive approach in helping to combat any fraud or scams related to the vaccine.