New Bill in Congress Aims to Support Family Caregivers

Forty million Americans care for their older parents, spouses and other loved ones to help them live independently, at home, each and every day — I am one of them.  We family caregivers help with bathing and dressing, transportation, providing meals, and much more. We even handle complex medical tasks like wound care or giving injections.  Today, we are an essential part of the U.S. health care system. The unpaid care family caregivers provide is valued at about $470 billion …

Celebrating Medicare: Strengthening the Program for the Next 50 Years

On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Medicare program into law. Today, we celebrate 50 years of Medicare providing affordable, guaranteed health care to millions of Americans — but we also look toward its future. We must recommit ourselves to keeping this vital lifeline strong for current and future generations. It’s easy to forget what life was like for older Americans before Medicare was enacted. Back in 1965, only about 1 in 4 Americans over age 65 …

Can’t Use Your FSA or HSA to Buy Over-the-Counter Drugs? AARP Is Working on That

It’s no secret that chronic pain is a common problem among older adults. According to the National Institutes of Health, 50 percent of older adults who live on their own suffer from chronic pain, and that number jumps to 75 percent or higher for seniors living in care facilities. Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines provide older adults with a trusted first line of defense against pain and allow them to manage their symptoms from the comfort of their own home without having …

Ambassador Froman, Don’t Let the Trans-Pacific Partnership Restrict Access to Affordable Medicine

AARP continues to voice its serious concerns about the current draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a massive trade agreement that will affect millions of people here in the U.S. and abroad and could set an unfortunate precedent for future trade agreements. The draft agreement contains provisions that add to the profits of the brand-name pharmaceutical industry at the expense of patients and older Americans. In fact, some of the TPP provisions run counter to current U.S. laws that are …

Rising Utility Rates Put Seniors at Risk

As we enter the heart of summer, the temperature isn’t the only thing on the rise — utility bills are increasing, too. For seniors especially, keeping cool in these hot summer months isn’t just a luxury, it’s a necessity for health and safety — one that can be hard to afford for some. As my colleague Joan McCarty of AARP New York simplifies it, “every extra dollar that goes to a utility bill is a dollar less for food and …

Older Americans Act Receives Senate Approval – Now for the House

In the same week as its 50th anniversary, the Senate finally renewed the Older Americans Act (OAA). Thanks to the bipartisan support of Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the Older Americans Act is moving forward after 5 years of inaction. Appropriately timed with the White House Conference on Aging held earlier last week, the OAA reauthorization addresses AARP’s core concern for any legislation to protect, nourish and sustain our nation’s older …