AARP AARP States Virginia Press




RICHMOND _   AARP Virginia volunteers headed to the General Assembly today to advocate on behalf of the 50+ population and the group’s more than 1 million members in the state.

Expanding Virginia’s Medicaid income guidelines to 133 percent of the Federal Poverty Level tops the AARP Virginia policy priority list.  The General Assembly is considering a budget amendment that would extend coverage to more needy Virginians.

 “Currently, Virginia’s Medicaid program is one of the most restrictive in the nation,” said AARP Virginia State Director Bill Kallio.  “Childless adults are not covered regardless of income.  Adults with children are covered with incomes up to 30 percent of poverty.”

Kallio said AARP encourages Virginia lawmakers to take advantage of the enhanced federal funding to provide coverage for approximately 400,000 additional individuals including 62,000 50- to 64-year-olds.  You can send an email to your lawmaker to tell them to expand Medicaid.

AARP’s other legislative priorities for 2013 include:

  • Utilities: Many seniors in Virginia have told AARP that electric rates are becoming unaffordable.  Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has released a report showing that bonuses available to Virginia’s two largest electric utilities for meeting goals related to renewable energy could cost ratepayers $284 million, and bonuses allowed for new generation could reach $1.8 billion.  AARP supports changes to Virginia’s 2007 electric utility law that would stop unnecessary rate increases.
  • Financial Exploitation of the Elderly: In Virginia, thousands of older persons are exploited – often by caregivers or family members for their money and other financial assets.  The victim may not even be aware that the abuse is occurring.  AARP Virginia supports an elder abuse law that is specific to the crime of financial exploitation committed against older persons and vulnerable adults.
  • Predatory Loans: Virginia consumers should be able to borrow money on fair terms to meet their short-term cash flow needs.  Virginia has regulated the short-term lending industry, but payday and car title lenders have found loopholes to skirt the law and avoid regulation.  AARP Virginia supports the Virginia Partnership to Encourage Responsible Lending efforts to put an end to open ended credit loans.
  • Home and Community Based Services: Currently, long-term care services and funding in Virginia are heavily focused on nursing homes and other institutional care settings.  By expanding access to home and community-based services, Virginia would enable more people to be served in their setting of choice and potentially save money by serving fewer people in institutional settings.  AARP Virginia supports reforms to the long-term care system that allow individuals to remain in their home or home like settings.
  •  Hunger: Many older Virginians face the threat of hunger.  AARP Virginia convened key thought leaders from the civic, faith, non-profit and private sectors at the Older Adult Hunger Summit in September 2012.  AARP will support policies to combat hunger and food insecurity in Virginia.
  • Make Sure Budget Cuts Don’t Hurt Vulnerable Virginians: AARP will monitor budget proposals to be sure that decisions are fair to all generations and do not place an unnecessary hardship on our most vulnerable citizens.

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AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole.  AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates.  We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with nearly 35 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's millions of members and Americans 50+; and our website,  AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors.  We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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