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Arizona State Fact Sheet

AARP State Fact Sheet

AARP Arizona is proud to represent and serve 870,735 AARP members age 50+ in the state.

We are committed to championing access to affordable, quality health care for all generations, providing the tools needed to save for retirement, and serving as a reliable information source on issues critical to Americans age 50+. AARP and the AARP Foundation are also working to improve the lives of Arizonans through vital services including job training and placement, and driver safety and tax assistance programs.

Age 50+ voters: 73 percent of Arizonans age 50+ voted in the 2008 election, sending a clear message that it's time for elected officials from both sides of the aisle to come together to solve our nation's problems.

AARP: Working To Improve the Lives of All Arizonans

Providing Real Relief: We are working with Congress to support struggling workers by:

Extending unemployment insurance for the 30,824 Arizonans age 50+ hardest hit by the economic crisis.

Reforming Health Care: We are working with Congress to fix our broken health care system by:

Making quality health care more affordable for the families and employers in Arizona now spending nearly $12,000 a year on premiums alone; and

Ensuring all Americans have access to care, especially the 159,240 uninsured Arizonans age 50-64.

Helping the Most Vulnerable: We are working with Congress to pass legislation that would help more low-income Americans with access to heath care by:

Strengthening State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and Medicaid to ensure that over 64,000 Arizona children and more than 1 million of the most vulnerable Arizonans get the care they need.

Aging in Place: We are working with Congress to ensure that the 89 percent of individuals age 50+ who wish to remain in their homes as long as possible can by:

Expanding access to home and community-based services through Medicaid – the largest payer of long-term care—which, in 2007, spent only 40 percent of long-term care dollars in Arizona on home- and community-based services for older adults and adults with physical disabilities and 60 percent on institutional care for the same population.

Strengthening Medicare: We are working with Congress to improve and strengthen Medicare, which provides health care for 852,880 Arizonans, by:

Putting more emphasis on quality and efficiency, capping out-of-pocket expenses in Medicare, and making prescription drugs more affordable.

Ensuring Social Security: We are working with Congress to strengthen Social Security for current and future generations by:

Reaching a balanced and bipartisan solvency agreement that will preserve Social Security's role as a guaranteed floor of income security, as it now does for 959,520 Arizonans currently receiving Social Security.

Promoting Retirement Savings: We are working with Congress to ensure that every American has a simple, dependable way to save for retirement at work by:

Enacting Automatic IRA legislation, which would help many of the estimated 1,167,000 Arizonans who currently do not have access to a retirement savings plan at work.

Addressing the Housing Crisis: We are working with Congress to help people facing foreclosure so they can stay in their homes while paying off their debt, including:

Allowing bankruptcy judges to restructure mortgage loans for primary residences, which would help 11,929 Arizonans age 50+ who are in or near foreclosure.

AARP: Fighting for Arizonans

More than 66,000 AARP Arizona e-activists are working to engage federal and state elected officials on issues of importance to Arizonans age 50+. The presence of AARP Arizona's GrassRoots, Elections and Advocacy Network are felt in all of Arizona's state legislative and U.S. congressional districts. These dedicated volunteers—a direct line of communication with federal and state elected officials—mobilize Arizonans on legislative and policy matters through grassroots activities, emails, rallies, visits to the State Capitol and at AARP events statewide.

In 2007 AARP, Business Roundtable, National Federation of Independent Business and the Service Employees International Union launched the national Divided We Fail (DWF) initiative. Over 20,000 Arizonans have engaged in this DWF fight for affordable, quality health care, and long-term financial security. Among numerous DWF community forums in 2008, AARP Arizona sponsored a televised opinion leader discussion on KAET-TV Channel 8 (PBS) in which two panels discussed the importance of finding solutions to our financial security and health care crisis, and hosted several community leader discussions in which participants discussed the need for affordable health care and financial security for all Americans. 

The AARP Arizona state office serves as a central information broker for AARP, linking and integrating federal and state education and advocacy activities related to our priority issues, such as health and long-term care reform. Our successes on individual legislation and campaigns, like helping to defeat the Proposition 101 “medical choice” ballot initiative in 2008, are not only relevant to the residents of Arizona, but to the nation as a whole.

AARP Foundation: Serving Arizonans of All Generations

AARP Tax-Aide is the nation's largest, free, volunteer-run tax preparation and assistance service available to low- and moderate-income taxpayers. With 95 locations throughout Arizona, AARP-trained and IRS-certified volunteers helped 93,145 Arizonans, including those eligible to file for their economic stimulus checks, and filed 5,106 EITC returns, putting $5,619,430 in the pockets of those who need it most.

Older Workers: There are more than 758,493 workers age 50+ in Arizona, providing value to public, private and nonprofit sectors. As the need to work later in life increases, older workers need to be prepared to meet the skill demands of the twenty-first century workplace. That's why AARP Foundation provides assistance to older workers in need, through programs such as:

WorkSearch, which connects job seekers to viable community job opportunities to improve their economic self-sufficiency. WorkSearch provides career information, job training, and related employment services to individuals with limited resources. If a job-seeker is 55 or older and income eligible, he or she may enroll in Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), which places older adults at local “host agencies” for on-the-job training and skill development with the goal of securing permanent employment. In 2008, WorkSearch and SCSEP helped more than 1,849 Arizonans connect to local job opportunities.

These and additional Foundation programs served more than 113,090 Arizonans in 2008.

AARP Contact Information

Arizona: David Mitchell, Arizona State Director, dmitchell@aarp.org; 602-262-5191

Washington, DC: Greg Wang, Senior Legislative Representative; gwang@aarp.org; 202-434-3742

References

Providing Real Relief: AARP Public Policy Institute Tabulations of the A132007 American Community Survey (U.S. Census Bureau, 2007).

Reforming Health Care: Premiums: The Kaiser Family Foundation. 2008. State Health Facts.

Reforming Health Care: AARP PPI Report:  "Health Care Reform:  What 50- to 64-Year-Olds Have at Stake"

Helping the Most Vulnerable: SCHIP, Medicaid: The Kaiser Family Foundation. 2008. State Health Facts.

Aging in Place: AARP Public Policy Institute, 2008. A Balancing Act: State Long Term Care Reform

Strengthening Medicare: The Kaiser Family Foundation. 2008. State Health Facts.

Ensuring Social Security: Social Security Administration. 2007. OASDI Beneficiaries by State and County.

Promoting Retirement Savings: Based on data from the US Census, State and County

Business Patterns and Current Populations Survey statistics on Pension Coverage. 2004.

Addressing the Housing Crisis: AARP Public Policy Institute. 2008. A First Look at Older Americans and the Mortgage Crisis.

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