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Colorado State Fact Sheet

AARP is proud to represent and serve 663,756 AARP members age 50+ in the state.

For 50 years, AARP has had one mission:  making life better for older Americans. AARP was created after its founder discovered a retired teacher in poor health living in a chicken coop, unable to afford medical care and with barely enough money to live on. Since then, AARP has been fighting for health and financial security for all Americans.

In 2010, AARP Colorado will be working with legislators from both parties to protect lifeline programs that provide seniors with food, health care and other necessities from deep budget cuts.  We will also be working to strengthen state laws to prevent banks and credit card companies from taking advantage of older Americans and to protect consumers from unfair utility hikes.

Age 50+ voters:  77 percent of Coloradans 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 Coloradans

Strengthening Social Security:  We are fighting to strengthen Social Security for current and future generations by:

  • Providing relief for 590,731 who won’t receive a cost of living increase (COLA) this year.

Protecting Medicare:  We are fighting to protect guaranteed benefits for the 574,263 Coloradans who receive their health care through Medicare.

Improving Health Care:  We are fighting to stop insurance abuses and protect the Medicare benefits seniors have earned by:

o   Lowering drug costs for 248,261 seniors by closing the Medicare Part D coverage gap or “doughnut hole.”

  • Preventing insurance companies from denying affordable coverage to up to 96,000 Coloradans age 50-64 based on age or pre-existing condition.
  • Expanding access to home and community-based services through Medicaid – the largest payer of long-term services and supports – which, in 2007, spent only 22 percent of long-term care dollars in on home and community based-services for older adults and adults with physical disabilities and 78 percent on institutional care for the same population.

Supporting Caregivers:  AARP is fighting to ensure more Americans can receive the services they need to live independently in their homes and communities by:

  • Valuing and supporting the 840,000 family caregivers in Colorado – individuals who provide help to their loved ones to enable them to live at home and whose unpaid contributions are valued at $6,500,000,000.   

Promoting Retirement Savings:  We are fighting to help Americans save for retirement by:

  • Enacting Automatic IRA legislation, which would help many of the estimated 1,418,700 Coloradans who don’t currently have a retirement plan at work to have simple access to a retirement savings account.

AARP: Fighting for Colorado

AARP Colorado spent 2009 fighting to improve access to health care, protect consumers from unfair utility hikes, strengthen unemployment benefits, and stop draconian cuts in food assistance to seniors.

AARP helped pass legislation that will provide more than 100,000 Coloradans with stable, affordable health coverage.  With countless Coloradans losing their jobs and their health care, the Healthcare Affordability Act will provide much-needed peace of mind to people who currently lack access to the care they need.

AARP also successfully defeated the state’s largest telephone company, Qwest from getting a deal that would allow it to by pass the Public Utilities Commission and directly pass the cost of any facility or maintenance upgrades to basic phone customers.

In addition, AARP fought for enactment of the Remuneration from Employment Separation (H.B. 1076), which would protect Coloradans, especially older workers, by ensuring that an employee who receives Social Security won’t get their benefits reduced.

Finally, AARP worked successfully in 2009 to prevent hundreds of vulnerable seniors from losing access to extra help with buying food through the Meals on Wheels program.

AARP Contact Information

Colorado:  Morie Pierce Smile, Director; MPSmile@aarp.org; (303) 764-5990

Washington, DC: Pete Jeffries, Senior Legislative Representative; PJeffries@aarp.org; (515) 697-1017

References

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

Protecting Medicare: The Kaiser Family Foundation, 2008. State Health Facts. http://www.statehealthfacts.org/

Improving Health Care: Doughnut hole: AARP (PPI) Fact Sheet, 2009. “Closing the ‘Doughnut Hole’ Will Help Protect Over One-Third of Medicare Beneficiaries from High Drug Costs”

Improving Health Care: Uninsured 50-64: Census Bureau. Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2007 through 2009

Improving Health Care: Home and Community-Based Services: AARP PPI, 2009. Across the States: Profiles of Long-term Care and Independent Living.

Supporting Caregivers: AARP PPI, 2008. Valuing the Invaluable: The Economic Value of Caregiving, 2008 Update.

Promoting Retirement Savings: Based on data from the US Census, State and Patterns & Current Populations Survey statistics on Pension Coverage. 2004.

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