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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

High Utility Expenditures a Concern for Older Consumers

Posted on 11/18/2013 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Money & Savings | Public Policy InstituteOverall utility expenditures declined from 2011 to 2012, but older consumers remain at risk. A recently released AARP Public Policy Institute analysis of 2012 Consumer Expenditure Survey data finds that utility expenditures as a percentage of average annual expenditures are highest for consumers age 50 or older. The report also notes that as household income decreases, utility expenditures become a greater percentage of average annual expenditures for all age groups. Utility spending by older consumers varies by not only age and …

Modernizing Medicaid: Putting Home- and Community-Based Services on Equal Footing with Nursing Homes

Posted on 11/13/2013 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Public Policy InstituteThe AARP Public Policy Institute (PPI) had a Solutions Forum on Oct. 30 to discuss ways to ensure that Medicaid beneficiaries get the supportive services they need in settings that they choose (See Twitter conversation at #MedMod and event transcript). AARP Executive Vice President Debra Whitman remarked that “the need for long-term services and supports is not a partisan issue. It affects Democrats. It affects Republicans. It affects wealthy people. It affects poor people. It affects old and young, all …

Choosing Home for Someone Else

Posted on 11/12/2013 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Caregiving | Home & Family | Public Policy InstituteI am my husband’s guardian. I was appointed by the Vermont probate court after a court hearing over 13 years ago. He had suffered a severe stroke, was disabled and could no longer manage his affairs. Although he had lost his speech, he developed his own sign language and could make his wishes known, at least to those of us who were close to him. And he clearly wanted to go home, and to make sure, he celebrated leaving the …

Higher Heating Bills Ahead for Many Older Households

Posted on 11/8/2013 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Money & Savings | Public Policy InstituteSpectacular fall foliage and cooler nights mean many folks are digging out jackets and sweaters from their closets as well as firing up their home heating systems. While temperatures will provide relief from the high electricity bills from the summer cooling season, rising costs for winter heating may make the respite from high utility bills a brief one. >> Sign up for the AARP Money newsletter An AARP Public Policy Institute analysis projects that during the coming winter heating season …

The Infrastructure of Inequality

Posted on 10/21/2013 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Home & Family | Public Policy InstitutePut people first. That was a theme of the first national Walk Summit in Washington, D.C., Oct. 1-3. Unfortunately the message relayed by several participants was not encouraging. “I feel my life is worth less than nothing,” said one self-described vulnerable road user as she outlined the challenges of navigating our transportation system without a car. The Sunday before the Walk Summit, I was driving along a four-lane road in my neighborhood and was surprised to see a young man …

Transforming Nursing Will Improve Health Care

Posted on 10/16/2013 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Public Policy InstituteCreating a larger, more highly skilled nursing workforce will improve access to higher-quality, more patient-centered, and more affordable care. That is especially important now: Demand for nursing care is growing as the population ages and millions more people are entering the health care system under the Affordable Care Act. At AARP, we have made it our mission to ensure that all people have access to a highly skilled nurse when and where they need one. Nurses, the largest segment of …