Today, Bill Novelli, CEO of AARP called for a "real vision for reform and change" as he outlined the organization's advocacy priorities for the coming year.
As Congress is set to reconvene, Novelli explained that "chopping away at Medicaid and Medicare does not address the real problem—escalating health care costs, which now account for 16 percent of the GDP."
Novelli laid out an agenda designed to address the security of Americans and their families, such as skyrocketing health care costs, long-term care, pension and savings reform, heating costs and recruiting and retaining workers over 50.
When addressing the trend of shifting economic risk from employers and government to individuals Novelli said, "this is creating challenges that impact Americans' lives right now—from affording quality health care to planning for retirement to heating their homes."
Novelli explained that as large companies, such as Verizon, IBM, Motorola, and Alcoa, move away from traditional defined-benefit pension plans, it reinforces the great importance of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid as the bedrock of our nation's retirement security.
Novelli acknowledged that there are many challenges on the horizon and said that three things are needed to achieve meaningful change and reform, "more bipartisanship; deficit reduction and good government."
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. We produce AARP The Magazine, published bimonthly; AARP Bulletin, our monthly newspaper; AARP Segunda Juventud, our bimonthly magazine in Spanish and English; NRTA Live & Learn, our quarterly newsletter for 50+ educators; and our website, www.aarp.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.