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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

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 …

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 …