Washington Watch

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It may not seem like it for many Americans, but recent health care spending in the United States has been growing at historically low levels. Between 2000 and 2007, per capita health spending grew at an average annual rate of 7.55 percent. Then we saw a steep decline between 2008 and 2014, when the rate dropped to an average 3.2 percent per year.
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En español | According to the Council of Economic Advisers, last year alone, a retirement savings advice loophole cost Americans $17 billion as a result of extra fees.
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There is a renewed national debate over anti-poverty programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that millions of low-income Americans rely on. The House Agriculture Committee is currently leading an extensive review of SNAP. Recently, AARP President-Elect Eric Schneidewind testified before the Committee on SNAP’s importance to seniors and how it plays a key role in reducing health care costs. Click here to watch the video.
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Peace of mind: That’s one quality of life that none of us can buy. And there’s nothing that gives us more peace of mind than to know that our beloved children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews are safe and happy. But, lately, a string of news stories about police shootings of unarmed black men has made us a little more uneasy.
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Today, I’m proud to join AARP volunteers from every state in making our voices heard on Capitol Hill. We will meet with members of the House and Senate from all 50 states, urging them to pass laws to protect and enhance the health and economic security of all people as they age. We will also express our thanks to those members who helped pass a “doc fix” law that allows Medicare beneficiaries to continue seeing their physicians.
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On Bloody Sunday, March 7, 1965, the Alabama State Police spared no activists — not even the women — on Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge. They, too, were knocked to the ground, trampled by horses and struck by batons, just like the men — all for standing for the rights of African Americans to vote.
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The “Bloody Sunday” 50th anniversary march was an event that inspired people across America to stand for justice wherever injustice prevails. In that regard, among the greatest inspirations at the March 7 commemoration was 103-year-old Amelia Boynton Robinson, a foot soldier who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
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With daily media reports of racial and cultural conflicts around the world and here at home, it is well worth noting a recent story about a multiracial group of clergy that has begun work on racial reconciliation in America. It took place with a meeting at the Potter’s House, ministry headquarters of Bishop T.D. Jakes in Dallas.
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"Precious Lord, take my hand. Lead me on, let me stand. I am tired. I am weak. I’m worn. Through the storm, through the night, lead me on to the light. Take my hand precious Lord, lead me on."
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As I travel in diverse circles from day to day, I pick up tidbits of wisdom from various voices, whether from speeches, conversations or even something I may have read. Approaching 2015, I’ll take a moment now to reflect and share a few recent quotes for what I call “wisdom for life in the new year.”
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