A major demographic shift is happening. The ages 85+ population is projected to triple between 2015 and 2050. In comparison, the population younger than age 65 will increase by only 12 percent.
Most of us will need long-term services and supports (LTSS), either for ourselves or for our family members. However, most of us do not know about our options and how to pay for these services. That is why the LTSS State Scorecard — created by the AARP Public Policy Institute and funded by the Scan Foundation and the Commonwealth Fund — ranks states on their aging and disability resource centers. These centers are an important feature of a high-performing LTSS system.
If you have protection against future catastrophic out-of-pocket costs for basic life functions, consider yourself lucky. The vast majority of people in the United States don’t.
AARP wrote to members of the House of Representatives to express our strong concern with a last-minute amendment to H.R. 5, the House Rules Package for the 114th Congress, that would effectively limit potential options regarding Social Security, including options to protect benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance Program. Under the amendment, the House could only consider legislation affecting any part of the Social Security program if the overall effect of the changes improved Social Security’s Old Age and Survivors (OASI) trust fund. While we strongly support Social Security and believe Congress should act sooner rather than later to ensure Social Security’s finances for the coming decades, the amendment made public Jan. 6 is unduly narrow and limits the House’s ability to consider the full range of options for addressing issues facing Social Security.
We all like to have choices. Being able to decide where we live and work, what we eat and how we spend our leisure time all enhance life satisfaction.
These days we're rarely shocked when we learn that a politician has enjoyed lavish benefits at public expense or found some way to exploit public office for personal gain. That makes all the more remarkable the story of former U.S. Rep. Andrew "Andy" Jacobs Jr. (D-Ind.), who during his three decades in Congress declined to accept the monthly disability payments to which he was entitled for his injuries in combat as a Marine during the Korean War.
No one with any common sense wants to see our politicians take us over the fiscal cliff. And I think most people with common sense also realize that Social Security, and the tougher issue of Medicare, are worth thoughtful debate and discussion so these vital programs can be put on stronger footing for future generations.
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