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Oklahoma State Fact Sheet

AARP is proud to represent and serve 408,845 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 Oklahoma 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: 74 percent of Oklahomans 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 Oklahomans

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

  • Providing relief for 611,721 Oklahomans who won’t receive a cost of living increase (COLA) this year.

Protecting Medicare:  We are fighting to protect guaranteed benefits for the 575,298 Oklahomans 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:

  • Lowering drug costs for 221,846 seniors by closing the Medicare Part D coverage gap or “doughnut hole.”
  • Preventing insurance companies from denying affordable coverage to up to 99,000 Oklahomans 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 27 percent of long-term care dollars in on home and community based-services for older adults and adults with physical disabilities and 73 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 570,000 family caregivers in – individuals who provide help to their loved ones to enable them to live at home and whose unpaid contributions are valued at $3,700,000,000.   

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

  • Enacting Automatic IRA legislation, which would help many of the estimated 829,200 Oklahomans who don’t currently have a retirement plan at work to have simple access to a retirement savings account.

AARP: Fighting for Oklahoma

As a result of AARP Oklahoma’s advocacy efforts during the 2009 Legislative session, a number of new laws were passed to improve the access to and quality of long-term care of Oklahomans.  Governor Henry signed bills that will create a consumer guide for assisted living centers, develop a state-wide Silver Alert system for missing adults, and establish the Aging and Disability Resource Consortium initiative.  AARP Oklahoma also successfully blocked three bills detrimental to older Oklahomans which would have eliminated all staffing ratios for nursing facilities, would have removed protection of the Home Care Act for consumers of Advantage program services, and would have exempted certain long-term care administrators from licensure requirements.  AARP Oklahoma was also successful in improving legislation that would have limited the rights of nursing home residents and fought for funding and expansion of home and community-based services.  AARP successfully stopped legislation that would have raised electric rates to pay for the financing of multi-billion dollar nuclear plants.

In the fall of 2009, AARP Oklahoma led a rally at the State Capitol to fight cuts to senior nutrition programs.  Over 400 people attended and urged state leaders to restore $7.4 million in funding cuts to senior nutrition programs.  The Department of Human Services cut nearly 30% of funding for senior nutrition programs, which includes home delivered meals and meals served at nutrition sites because of declining state revenues.  In 2010, AARP Oklahoma will be working with state legislators on a solution that would restore funding.   

AARP Contact Information

Oklahoma:  Nancy Coffer, Sr. State Director, NCoffer@aarp.org; (405) 715-4461
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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