New AARP Survey: Americans of All Ages Support Social Security

En español | As Social Security celebrates its 80th birthday, the program remains as popular as ever among all age groups, although some people are skeptical and confused about its long-term financial outlook. Those are a couple of the findings in AARP’s new report “Social Security 80th Anniversary Survey Report: Public Opinion Trends,” released Aug. 13. AARP has measured the attitudes of Americans ages 18 and older about Social Security periodically since 1995, most recently in June. Social Security Calculator: …

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, …

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 …

2016 Social Security COLA? Don’t Bet on It

En español |  Nearly 60 million Social Security recipients will probably not get a cost-of-living increase next year, according to projections in the 2015 Social Security and Medicare trustees reports. This would be the third time Social Security beneficiaries have gone without a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) since 1975, when automatic raises were put into place. The COLA this year was 1.7 percent, making the average monthly check for retired workers $1,334 as of May. Increases in benefits are tied to …

Aging Conference: How Innovative Solutions Work for All Generations

From technological innovation to physical activity to universal design — what works to make life easier and healthier for one generation can work equally well for another, according to speakers at the White House Conference on Aging on July 13. The once-a-decade conference “opens the door to creating innovative solutions that make life better for all people as they age,” said AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins in her address to the attendees. In afternoon panel discussions, presenters emphasized that everyone …

New Regulations Would Require Modernizing Nursing Home Care

After nearly 30 years, the Obama administration wants to modernize the rules nursing homes must follow to qualify for Medicare and Medicaid payments. The hundreds of pages of proposed changes cover everything from meal times to use of antipsychotic drugs to staffing.  Some are required by the Affordable Care Act and other recent federal laws, as well as the president’s executive order directing agencies to simplify regulations and minimize the costs of compliance. “Today’s measures set high standards for quality …