Public Policy

Debra Whitman is an authority on aging issues with extensive experience in policymaking, research and the political process. As AARP's executive vice president for Policy, Strategy and International Affairs, she leads policy development in retirement security, health care, consumer protections and other issues.

There is Nothing ‘Fuzzy’ About Social Security Benefits’ Positive Impact on the Economy

The idea that Social Security benefit payments help support local and state economies and the national economy is obvious to all 57 million beneficiaries who spend their dollars at stores and to the merchants who sell them goods and services. But it is not obvious to many in Washington. In a town focused only on what Social Security payments mean for the federal budget, a new report by AARP’s Public Policy Institute highlights, in actual dollars and jobs, what Social …

We Need More Nurses to Provide Primary Care

A recent survey of doctors and nurses has put the spotlight on a topic that is becoming more important every day — the shortage of primary care providers and the role for nurses in fixing it. According to an article in the New England Journal of Medicine, the doctors and nurses broadly agreed that, “Nurse practitioners should be able to practice to the full extent of their education and training.” Unfortunately, they held very different views on just what that …

The Fiscal Crisis of Families

Washington and the news media have long been focused on a series of budget deadlines and fiscal dramas. But a different headline stood out for me the other day, as I read a story in the Washington Post: “Fiscal Trouble Ahead for Most Future Retirees.” The story provided dramatic support for recent findings of AARP’s Public Policy Institute that the security of middle class Americans is under attack from all sides. AARP’s Middle Class Security Project and the Post article …