David Certner is the Legislative Counsel and Legislative Policy Director for Government Affairs at AARP, serving as counsel for the Association's legislative, regulatory, and policy efforts at the federal and state level, as well as for litigation opportunities before the courts. Follow on Twitter @DavidCertner.

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Older Americans Act Receives Senate Approval – Now for the House

In the same week as its 50th anniversary, the Senate finally renewed the Older Americans Act (OAA). Thanks to the bipartisan support of Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the Older Americans Act is moving forward after 5 years of inaction. Appropriately timed with the White House Conference on Aging held earlier last week, the OAA reauthorization addresses AARP’s core concern for any legislation to protect, nourish and sustain our nation’s older …

Why AARP Backs a New Retirement Plan Advice Rule

Yesterday was the due date for comments on a rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor that would protect people with 401(k)s and IRAs from conflicts of interest in the financial services industry. AARP filed our official comments yesterday, one on the new rule and one on the new proposed best interest contract exemption. The rule, proposed in April, requires all retirement plan advisers to provide advice in their clients’ best interest. That is the simple goal underlying the …

Advance Care Planning Gets a Boost

In response to an earlier request from AARP and other groups, we are pleased that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has recommended in its recent proposed update to the Medicare physician fee schedule that Medicare be able to pay for advance care planning (ACP) services from physicians and other providers. The proposal will help facilitate voluntary conversations among individuals, their families and health care providers to help ensure individuals’ choices and wishes about their care are known, …

Good News for People on Medicare: Bipartisan Bills to Fight Unexpected Costs, Fraud

BREAKING NEWS: On August 6, President Obama signed the NOTICE Act into law!   On Wednesday, June 24, the Senate Finance Committee approved several bills to improve Medicare. AARP is especially pleased by the advancement of two of these bills: the Notice of Observation, Treatment and Implication for Care Eligibility (NOTICE) Act (S. 1349) and the Preventing and Reducing Improper Medicare and Medicaid Expenditures (PRIME) Act (S. 861). AARP supports the NOTICE and PRIME Acts because they are commonsense, bipartisan …

Historic FDA Approval May Help Lower Drug Costs

AARP applauds the FDA’s approval of the first biosimilar prescription drug product in the U.S. It is a welcome step toward a workable approval process that will provide consumers with much-needed access to safe, effective biosimilar drugs, as envisioned by the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act in the Affordable Care Act. Today’s announcement marks the beginning of what AARP hopes will be a robust market that will offer consumers access to lower-cost alternatives to very expensive biologic medicines, such as those …

Tell Congress Not to Leave Seniors Stranded

The Older Americans Act (OAA) is critical to helping seniors live independently as they age. Last month, the Senate HELP Committee unanimously approved the Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2015, a bipartisan bill supported by AARP. The bill now awaits a vote in the full Senate. This is the third in a three-part series detailing the importance of programs funded by the OAA to the dignity of seniors across America. How would you get to your doctor’s appointment if you didn’t have a car? …