Elaine Ryan is the vice president of State Advocacy and Strategy Integration (SASI) in AARP's Government Affairs group. She leads a team of dedicated legislative staff who work with AARP state offices to advance advocacy with Governors and state legislators, helping people 50+ attain and maintain their long-term financial security and health.

Follow Elaine on Twitter: @RoamTheDomes.

$900 Million and Counting

Have you ever been hit with sticker shock when you open your utility bill? This winter, many Americans faced skyrocketing energy costs, with bills doubling and tripling in just a month. Meanwhile, some seniors on fixed incomes still have to make tough choices between paying their utility bill or buying other necessities like food and medication. That’s why AARP is fighting, in states across the country, for fair and reasonable utility rates. We’re off to a strong start in 2014, …

Caring for Our Spouses

BREAKING UPDATE 5/15: Oklahoma becomes the first state in the nation to enact the CARE Act!  SB 1536, also known as the CARE Act, has been signed by Governor Mary Fallin and will take effect November 1, 2014. The bill will help the 600,000 family caregivers in Oklahoma when their loved ones go into the hospital and as they transition home.     Meet the Mitchems and the Shapards: two Oklahoma families who would benefit greatly from the Caregiver Advise, Record, …

Mom, Pop & the CARE Act

As I recently told Ron Fournier of the National Journal, the memories of Mom and Pop are part of what drive me in my work to support family caregivers as they help their loved ones live independently at home. Like most Americans, Mom and Pop wanted to stay at home – and not go into a nursing home or other facility. In their 80s they become first-time homeowners of a one-story house, and I continued in my role as their …

Our Silent Army of Family Caregivers

As a caregiver who spent decades helping my Mom and Pop to live independently in their home, I understand what the compelling new report on military caregivers, released today, makes abundantly clear: Family caregivers who help our veterans need support – much like those of us who undertake the labor of love to assist our aging parents and other loved ones. While each caregiver’s experience is unique – whether we’re helping older adults, younger disabled Americans, our veterans - together, we …

Battleground States in the Fight for Medicaid Expansion

A few days ago, the Maine legislature passed a bill – for the third time – that would expand affordable health coverage for nearly 70,000 residents who earn up to $15,000 a year. These hard-working Mainers – our friends, neighbors, even family – may have lost their jobs or are working in jobs that don’t offer health coverage. Gov. Paul LePage has already vetoed two similar bills to expand Medicaid, which would not only help the thousands of Mainers who …