Congress Approves Bill Bolstering Medicare Patients’ Hospital Rights

The U.S. Senate unanimously approved legislation Monday night requiring hospitals across the nation to tell Medicare patients when they receive observation care but have not been admitted to the hospital. It’s a distinction that’s easy to miss until patients are hit with big medical bills after a short stay. The vote follows overwhelming approval in the U. S. House of Representatives in March. The legislation is expected to be signed into law by President Barack Obama, said its House sponsor, …

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 …

Breaking News: N.J. Legislature Passes CARE Act to Support Family Caregivers

BREAKING UPDATE 11/13/14:  Gov. Chris Christie signed the CARE Act into Law.     Just minutes ago, the New Jersey Assembly passed the Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act. Already approved by the Senate without a single no vote, the CARE Act now heads to Gov. Chris Christie for his signature. Once enacted, it will support the 1.75 million family caregivers in New Jersey as their loved ones go into the hospital and as they transition home. What is the CARE Act? The …

Jim Brady: A Bullet Couldn’t Stop Him

On March 30, 1981, then-White House press secretary Jim Brady asked one of his aides to accompany President Ronald Reagan for a speech at the Washington Hilton. At the last moment, however, Brady himself went with Reagan. It was a choice that would forever alter the life of the witty, self-deprecating man whose burly build led to the nickname “Bear.” On the way out of the hotel, Reagan was attacked by a mentally ill assassin, John Hinckley, who got off …

What’s Congress Up To? How You Can Find Out

Americans rate Congress below most scourges, polls regularly show. But does the public actually know what Congress is doing? Only a small percentage of legislation makes it to the Senate and House floors, where insomniacs can stay glued to the proceedings on C-SPAN. But these days, it’s a lot easier than it used to be to track bills of interest through the legislative process. The granddaddy of legislative access is named, fittingly, after the guy who created the Library of …

Medicaid Expansion One Step Closer In Illinois

Hey blog readers, This is Gerardo with AARP Illinois’ Communications Team. Legislators in Springfield may not be able to reach agreements on state pensions or concealed carry, but there’s one important thing that they did agree on – that health care should be available to Illinoisans who need it and cannot afford it! How did that happen? This week, the Illinois General Assembly passed a bill that will bring much needed relief to thousands of hard-working Illinoisans who are struggling financially …