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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

States Move to Support Working Family Caregivers

Posted on 06/23/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Public Policy InstituteJuggling work and family caregiving responsibilities is stressful, even overwhelming, because most workplaces aren’t “caregiver friendly.” I hear this all the time from my friends and colleagues who care for aging parents. Public policies can help working caregivers better manage their responsibilities so that they don’t have to choose between work and family caregiving. One way states can help is by providing legal protections from employment discrimination due to caregiving status. States can also expand access to paid sick days …

Time for States to Get Moving on Supporting Long-Term Care

Posted on 06/19/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Public Policy InstituteIt’s time to pick up the pace of change. That’s the core message of a report released today by the AARP Public Policy Institute (with support from the Commonwealth Fund and the SCAN Foundation) that looks at delivery of long-term services and supports (LTSS). The 2014 LTSS Scorecard evaluated every state and the District of Columbia on 26 aspects of system performance, including affordability, access, choice, quality, support for family caregivers, and effectiveness of care transitions. There was good news …

When Unemployment Goes On and On

Posted on 06/2/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Public Policy InstituteHe remembers the exact date — Nov. 30, 2008. That is when Hue Galloway of New Britain, Conn., was laid off with just a week’s notice from his job repairing printers and computers throughout the state. His annual evaluations, he said, had been good — 30 years of experience and “never a bad review” — but that didn’t keep him from being let go without any real explanation. He lived on unemployment insurance until that ran out, and he had some …

Not Everyone Is Living Longer

Posted on 06/1/2014 by |Public Policy | Comments

Public Policy InstituteWhen it is unveiled in the coming weeks, the Social Security Trustees report will no doubt prompt the program’s critics to call for change, as it does each year. And one of their suggestions will likely be to raise the age of eligibility for Social Security and Medicare benefits. It sounds so reasonable. Isn’t everybody living longer? Unfortunately, the answer is no. >> Sign up for the AARP Advocacy Newsletter The truth is that gains in life expectancy are not …

A Look at Lower-Income Taxpayers and the Dependent Care Credit

Posted on 05/30/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Public Policy InstituteCaring for a child or an aging parent can be costly. Caregivers working outside of the home may be able to offset some of these costs through the federal child and dependent care tax credit (CDCC). In 2010, 6.3 million taxpayers claimed the CDCC, reducing their tax liability by about $3.4 billion. In all likelihood child care is a much larger slice of this pie, particularly given the requirement that the dependent must live with the taxpayer for at least …

Americans 50+ Pay Nearly 60 Percent of All Federal Individual Income Taxes

Posted on 05/28/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Public Policy InstituteIn recent years the issue of who pays and who does not pay taxes has been a focus of public attention. A look at IRS statistics about age distribution of the federal individual income tax can be enlightening. In 2010, taxpayers over 50 filed 44.8 million returns (a single return often represents more than one person, for example in the case of married couples) out of the total 102.9 million returns filed, paying over $600 billion in income taxes. This …