5 States

— AARP Florida Director Jeff Johnson warned hundreds of thousands of older Floridians Wednesday that they could lose thousands of dollars in income-tax deductions next year if Congress moves ahead with a U.S. House plan to impose a “health tax.” A House tax plan adopted last month would eliminate a current feature of tax law that allows Americans to deduct some of the cost of high medical expenses from their taxable income. As of 2017, taxpayers can deduct qualified medical expenses …

5 States

— TALLAHASSEE, FLA. — AARP Florida State Director Jeff Johnson issued the following statement commending Duke Energy Florida for stepping back from the consumer-unfriendly practice of utility advanced-cost recovery as part of a settlement agreement now under consideration by the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC). “Today the Florida Public Service Commission took up a proposed settlement agreement for Duke Energy Florida that, on the whole, shows potential for Florida consumers,” Johnson said. “It’s high time that utility companies began to step …

5 States

— FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017 CONTACT:  Dave Bruns, 850.577.5161 dbruns@aarp.org Tallahassee, Fla. — AARP Florida, with 2.8 million members in the Sunshine State, has asked the Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) to place a proposed constitutional ban on utility-company advance cost recovery initiatives before Florida voters in the 2018 election. Once every 20 years, the CRC is allowed to place proposed constitutional amendments on the statewide ballot for voters’ consideration. Now, AARP is calling upon Floridians to join the …

— Join AARP Tallahassee and the Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Department for the Slow Roll Boomer Bike Ride through downtown Tallahassee. The ride begins at Anita Favors Thompson Plaza traveling through the west side of Cascades Park up Franklin Street to the Smokey Hollow Memorial, the loops around the east Cascade with a stop at the Florida prime meridian marker (and county map of Florida) back to Thompson Plaza. Event information: When: Saturday, Oct. 28 @ 9:30 am Registration: The even is …

5 States

— As Floridians regroup from Hurricane Irma, it is clear that the state’s system for protecting frail older residents failed after Hurricane Irma. Ten people died in a tragic chain of miscommunication and inexplicable failure to act after a Broward County rehabilitation center lost cooling for more than 150 residents for three days during Hurricane Irma. Astonishingly, a fully functional hospital, where air conditioning was available, was right across the street. “Florida’s frail elders have spent lifetimes raising families and building …

jeff johnson aarp florida state director

— By Jeff Johnson (This op-ed originally appeared in the Sept. 16 issue of the Sun Sentinel) Still struggling with Irma’s aftermath, Floridians were stunned by news Wednesday that eight frail elders died from heat-related causes after a Hollywood, Fla., nursing home lost its air conditioning.  A hospital with functioning air conditioning was across the street. A criminal investigation is now under way into the deaths at the Rehabilitation Center of Hollywood Hills, but initial reports seem to indicate that miscommunication …

5 States

— FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017 CONTACT:   Dave Bruns, 850.228.2759 dbruns@aarp.org ST PETERSBURG, Fla. – AARP Florida State Director Jeff Johnson today received a top honor from Florida’s largest aging-service organization, the Florida Council on Aging, at the council’s annual conference in Orlando. Johnson received the Dr. Carter Osterbind Outstanding FCOA Member award, named for a founder and former president of FCOA.  The award recognizes a Florida Council on Aging member whose actions reflect a high level of personal …

5 States

— St. Petersburg, Fla. – America’s grayest state ranks a disappointing fourth from the bottom in the nation in meeting the long-term care needs of older residents and people with disabilities, according to a new, comprehensive state-by-state study. The Long-Term Services and Supports Scorecard ranked Florida 46th among the 50 states on a detailed list of 23 specific indicators across five key dimensions on the report, issued by AARP with support of the nation’s leading organizations behind quality long-term care, The …

4 States

— St. Petersburg, Fla. – AARP Florida Advocacy Manager Jack McRay said AARP is disappointed in a 9-6 House committee vote Tuesday to allow Florida investor-owned utilities to shift the cost of out-of-state natural-gas exploration and development projects to ratepayers, while simultaneously collecting a return for itself on ratepayer-funded costs. The House Energy and Utilities subcommittee voted Tuesday to approve House Bill 1043 by Rep. Jason Brodeur, R-Sanford, in a subcommittee meeting held specifically to consider the legislation, just ahead of …

4 States

— Under the current U.S. House plan to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), about 454,000 Floridians age 50-64 enrolled and receiving tax credits in the ACA Marketplace would see higher health-coverage premiums than they pay under current law, more than in any other state, an AARP analysis shows. If implemented today, for older Americans 50-64,  the reduction in tax credits  would range from about $830 a year to about $5,850 a year for the ACA Marketplace “Silver plan” health coverage, …