The January/February issue of the AARP Bulletin features a cover story on a pressing and pervasive issue for older Americans – age discrimination in the workplace. More than 50 years after Congress passed the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, older workers continue to face age-related bias on the job, receiving fewer promotions and training opportunities, being targeted for harassment or losing their jobs involuntarily when an employer makes cuts based on seniority.
The rising cost of health care has been – and continues to be – an ongoing subject of political debate. More important, it is the topic of conversations at kitchen tables across the country. Every day, millions of Americans are struggling to pay for insurance premiums and copays, prescription drugs and treatments, medical equipment, and long-term care while still putting food on the table, covering the mortgage or rent, and paying the bills. Americans with high health care costs can get some measure of relief by taking the medical expense deduction when they file their taxes. But, unless Congress takes action, 4.4 million Americans who are sick and count on this deduction to afford their medical bills will face higher taxes next year.
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to participate in a community listening session hosted by the Federal Reserve Board of Governors here in Washington, DC. This was one in a series of “Fed Listens” events around the country that bring together business and non-profit leaders, academics and other stakeholders to share their thoughts on how the Fed’s policies and practices impact different constituencies. At a time when economic anxiety is high and trust in many of our national institutions is shaky, I am especially appreciative when the organizations that help manage our money… or in this case the nation’s money supply... take steps to be more accessible and responsive to the people they serve.
Every day, millions of Americans dutifully open a bottle – or two, three, or more – and swallow pills prescribed by a health provider. On average, older adults take four to five prescription drugs a month. But, nearly a third of Americans age 19-64 say that they have not taken the medicine that their doctor wants them to take because it’s too expensive. The skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs is forcing them to make tough decisions that put their health at risk.
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