6 Things to Watch in Congress

Members of Congress are back in Washington with an agenda full of items important to older Americans. Here’s a rundown: Debt ceiling and federal budget. Two deadlines loom here. The federal government will run out of borrowing authority if Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling by Feb. 7. Although Capitol Hill lawmakers negotiated a budget deal in December that set overall spending, they must pass a bill with more specifics by Jan. 15. Each time budget deadlines hit, some lawmakers …

Congress Moves to Overhaul How Medicare Pays Doctors

Capitol Hill lawmakers are showing signs that they could finally revamp how Medicare pays doctors. For the short term, the budget deal approved in the House on Dec. 12 delays for three months a cut of 24 percent in physicians’ reimbursements slated to begin Jan. 1. For the long term, after years of last-minute scrambling to stave off the payment cuts, several key Senate and House committees have approved legislation to repeal the formula that Medicare uses to pay physicians, …

3 Challenges for Long-Term Care in America

Right now, at kitchen tables across America, real families are confronting the same question:  how will we care for mom or dad, or another loved one, if something happens and they can’t care for themselves without assistance?  And if and when the time comes, who will care for us? Following the Federal Commission on Long-Term Care‘s recently released report, AARP and The Hill Newspaper convened three of the Commissioners and other experts to discuss ways to improve long-term services and …

Chained CPI Petitions Delivered to Capitol Hill: 1.5 Million Say No

Fifteen cardboard boxes. Ten thousand pages. And about 1.5 million people who want to be heard signed their names on one or more petitions, for a total of 2.3 million signatures. A group of AARP volunteers – known as the Capitol Hill Strike Force – descended on the U.S. Capitol this morning to deliver their messages to the House Ways and Means Committee. “As members of Congress consider proposals to reform these vital retirement security programs, it’s critical that they …

Now Showing: Alzheimer’s Comes to Capitol Hill

I’ve been writing regularly about the dramatic impact the creative arts – acting, dancing, singing, making music and art, songwriting, and composing stories and poems – can have on those with Alzheimer’s. But don’t just take my word for it. Research experts, dancers, actors, storytellers and songwriters will attest to its magic next Thursday, Sept. 20 in Washington, D.C., including on Capitol Hill. The day-long event is cosponsored by the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project and the National Center for Creative Aging. …

Congress – The Branch of Government Everyone Loves to Hate

Everybody hates Congress. Not exactly a news flash, is it? These days the frustration with – and outright dislike of – Congress is accepted background not only for the voting public, but also for lots of congressional candidates, who routinely disparage the performance of the government they hope to join. But there’s also evidence that voters 50 and older, in particular, are just plain fed up with government. And that dynamic could have an impact on close races this fall. …