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AARP SC: An Advocacy Leader

AARP South Carolina is an advocacy leader in the Palmetto state. Each legislative session, AARP South Carolina volunteers and staff work tirelessly on issue important to those 50+, including its members.

See Also: Hold your elected officials accountable

Over the past years AARP South Carolina legislative achievements include the following areas.

Health Care

Cigarette Tax Advocated for a 50 cent increase in the nation’s lowest cigarette tax. AARP South Carolina, along with many partners, successfully persuaded lawmakers to use the revenue raised from the increase to fund the Medicaid program. Medicaid pays for the majority of long term care services in South Carolina.
 
Patient Safety To improve patient safety, we advocated for one of the first laws to require South Carolina hospitals to report hospital acquired infections to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control providing the rates at which their patients are acquiring infections. This reporting will increase the level of accountability SC hospitals have towards consumers, which in turn, will help to minimize and/or prevent dangerous and costly hospital acquired-infections.
 
Also, successfully advocated for the Lewis Blackmon Patient Safety Act requiring hospital employees to wear name identification badges that clearly state who and what they do.

Geriatrician Program Successfully advocated for a law that was passed that provides a loan forgiveness program for medical students who agree to continue their training to become geriatricians. South Carolina was the first state in the nation to implement this program. This is an important step in making sure that good quality primary care is available to older residents.

Consumer Issues

Identity Theft Protections South Carolina residents can now place and lift a security freeze on their credit histories with the major credit reporting agencies for free. The Palmetto state is one of just a handful of states that mandates a free credit freeze. When a security freeze is in place at all three major credit bureaus, an identity thief cannot open a new account because the potential creditor or seller of services will not be able to check the credit file. When the consumer is applying for credit, he or she can lift the freeze temporarily using a PIN so legitimate applications for credit or services can be processed. Consumer Union
 
Payday & Predatory Lending Worked with a group of organizations to rein in the pay day lending industry in South Carolina which will require a real-time data base for loans and limit loans to one at time. Successfully advocated for a law to curtail predatory lending practices with home mortgage lending.

Utilities Fought SCE&G rate hike request increase of 9.5%, which was reduced to 4.5% after hundreds of AARP members opposed the rate hike by letter or testimony. This will save consumers $96 million.

Long Term Care

Home- and Community- Based Services For several years, AARP South Carolina has successfully advocated for home and community based services funding, serving more than 5,000 individuals with meals, homemaker services, and transportation and avoid costly nursing home care.

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