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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

Improving the Performance of State Systems of Long-Term Services and Supports

Posted on 06/30/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Public Policy InstituteImagine that you have been named CEO of an underperforming major corporation. Your competitors outperform your company on some measures by ratios of 3 or 4 to 1. Consumers prefer the products of your competitors by similar lopsided margins. Your operating costs are lower than most, but your equipment and management processes are antiquated and result in unnecessary inefficiencies and poor quality products. What would you do? In the business world, you would need to match the efforts of your …

The Heat Is on Summer Electric Bills

Posted on 06/27/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Public Policy InstituteThe 2014 summer cooling season is turning into an expensive and potentially unsafe one for older consumers who live on a fixed income. Though many welcome the heat after a harsh winter, the frigid temperatures of this past winter are causing higher electric bills this summer. Consumers hoping to escape the high utility bills they faced during winter will find little relief. A colder-than-normal winter triggered record demand for natural gas to meet home heating needs. As a result, natural gas reserves …

The Weatherization Assistance Program: Sustainable Energy Solutions for Low-Income Households

Posted on 06/26/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Public Policy InstituteStaying cool in the summer costs most of us more these days as electricity prices rise. For low-income families, especially older people living on a fixed income, this can lead to breaking the family budget — or exposure to excessive heat. One way to avoid high utility bills is to make homes more energy efficient. That is the goal of the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), a federal program designed to increase energy efficiency for low-income families. The Weatherization Assistance Program …

Aging and Disability Resource Centers: Scorecard Highlights the Need for Information and Access to Services

Posted on 06/26/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Public Policy InstituteMost Americans will eventually need services to help them live independently, either as consumers or as caregivers providing support to family and friends. However, many of them do not know where to turn for help or how to pay for these services. That’s a major reason Aging and Disability Resource Centers — referred to as ADRCs — are critically important to help them find the services they need. ADRCs offer a “single point of entry” for clients and families to …

Different Generations Desire Similar Communities

Posted on 06/25/2014 by |Policy Research Senior Analyst | Comments

Great Places | Public Policy Institute  Comments on a blog post about a revitalizing neighborhood in Washington, D.C., claimed that older people often don’t care about having amenities such as shopping and health care within walking distance. They can live in the suburbs and have everything they need. Affordable housing in urban areas, one person argued, better serves younger people who work. But, as an author of the recently released AARP Public Policy Institute (PPI) What Is Livable? Report, I can tell you the opposite is true: …

Greater Saving Can Increase Retirement Security and Economic Growth

Posted on 06/24/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Public Policy Institute  Increased saving can be an important driver of future economic growth and rising living standards. That is the conclusion of a new report by Oxford Economics — Another Penny Saved: The Economic Benefits of Higher US Household Saving — sponsored by AARP and 10 other organizations. The U.S. personal saving rate has been declining for more than 30 years. And the report’s authors project the rate will drop further — from around 4 percent today to about 3 percent …