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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

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 …

Expensive New Hepatitis C Drug Raises Alarms

Posted on 05/28/2014 by |Public Policy | Comments

Public Policy InstituteThis piece originally ran in the Huffington Post and was written by Leigh Purvis and Debra B. Whitman. Hepatitis C is a serious liver disease that results from infection with the hepatitis C virus. It currently affects more than 3 million Americans, many of whom do not know that they are infected. Left untreated, it can lead to liver damage, cirrhosis, liver failure or liver cancer. Until recently, hepatitis C treatments only cured about half of patients and often had undesirable …

Impact of the Polar Vortex on Consumers Will Linger

Posted on 05/5/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Public Policy InstituteMany consumers are happy to say goodbye to the polar vortex that caused frigid temperatures and high home heating bills this past winter. While the memory of bitter cold winter days will fade as warmer weather finally begins to take hold, the ghost of the polar vortex may return in the form of higher home energy prices for the remainder of the year. The onslaught of colder-than-normal temperatures resulted in higher-than-average natural gas demand for home heating. This high demand has …

Aging in Community: City Planners Get on Board to Help Lead the Way

Posted on 05/2/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Public Policy InstituteWhere do you plan to retire? If you’re like a majority of Americans, you prefer to age in your current home, or at the very least, your community. A just-released survey by the AARP Public Policy Institute (PPI) shows nearly 9 in 10 people age 65 and older want to stay put as they age. Only 11 percent intend to move within the next three years. Most will age in a suburb, often with few transportation and housing options. These …

Family Caregiving: There’s Nothing Informal About It

Posted on 05/1/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Public Policy InstituteIt’s time to banish the word “informal” when referring to the care provided by family members and friends. It devalues their essential contributions and fails to capture the complexity of what they do. Family caregivers usually are not paid for the help they provide their loved ones. For this reason, some describe them as “informal” caregivers. Yet family members, partners, friends and neighbors are the mainstay of support for older people who need help to carry out their daily activities, …