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Public Policy Institute

The Public Policy Institute informs and stimulates public debate on the issues we face as we age. The Institute promotes development of policies to address our common need for economic security, health care, and quality of life.

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Recent Public Policy InstitutePosts

Is Someone Following You Around the Store as You Shop?

Posted on 07/22/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Public Policy InstituteWell, they might be — if you are one of the 58 percent of adult Americans who own a smartphone. Each smartphone broadcasts a unique identifying code through signals emitted as the phone searches for available networks. Retailers can track these signals and follow the in-store movements of customers as they shop. Most consumers understand that online stores track shoppers as they navigate around their websites. Yet, few realize some brick-and-mortar retail stores and shopping malls are using smartphone mobile analytics …

The Importance of Language Access in Community-Based Long-Term Care Settings

Posted on 07/18/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Public Policy InstituteThe U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 55.4 million Americans speak a language other than English when they are at home. In addition to Spanish, growing numbers of Americans speak Portuguese, Russian, Hindi, Chinese, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Arabic and other languages. This represents a 140 percent jump since 1980. The Census Bureau also predicts that the United States will continue to be a linguistically diverse nation and home to large numbers of people with limited English proficiency (LEP). This has significant implications …

Removing Barriers to Financial Independence for People With Disabilities

Posted on 07/17/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Public Policy InstituteFor people with disabilities, barriers to employment can be especially devastating. Nearly 20 million working-age adults have a physical, sensory or cognitive disability. Their rates of employment are significantly lower than among the non-disabled population (33 percent compared with 73.8 percent) and their poverty rates are more than double that of non-disabled people ages 18 to 64 (28.8 percent compared with 13.3 percent in 2012). It’s not just about money. Employment enhances personal well-being, identity, purpose and social inclusion. Unfortunately, …

Make Your Voice Heard on AARP Policy Positions

Posted on 07/17/2014 by |Public Policy | Comments

Public Policy InstituteEvery day, thousands of AARP staff and volunteers bring AARP public policies to life when they fight on behalf of older Americans and their families in all state capitals and Washington, D.C. Yet those vital efforts would not be possible without input from people just like you. AARP policies are set by our all-volunteer Board of Directors, but only after an annual process that begins with listening to the insights and experience of individuals who are 50-plus. As a first …

From Firefighter to Nurse: AARP Champions Lives Reimagined

Posted on 07/8/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Public Policy InstituteThe June AARP Bulletin features four older adults who re-careered to nursing from vastly different professions—firefighter, monk, newspaper reporter and judge. All over the age of 50, each had successful careers and had found their niche. Yet each craved change. Taking a page from AARP’s “Life Reimagined” initiative, Edward Moriarty, 61, of the New York Fire Department became a visiting nurse; Chris Tower, 62, left a monastery to become a psychiatric nurse practitioner; Tracy Gordon Fox, 50, left a daily …

More States Hang Up on Telecom Complaints

Posted on 07/8/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Public Policy InstituteEach year, tens of thousands of frustrated consumers contact their state utility commission when they have a problem with a telecommunications provider. Most turn to the commission after unsuccessfully attempting to resolve the issue with their company. Utility commissions traditionally have the expertise and authority to resolve disputes fairly and effectively, as well as the capacity to work with consumers on an individual basis. We Can’t Hear You Now However, a growing number of states have recently decided to take …