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Pennsylvania State Fact Sheet

AARP is proud to represent and serve 1,827,709 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 Pennsylvania 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: 72 percent of Pennsylvanians 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 Pennsylvanians

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

  • Providing relief for 2,298,096 Pennsylvanians who won’t receive a cost of living increase (COLA) this year.

Protecting Medicare:  We are fighting to protect guaranteed benefits for the 2,210,989 Pennsylvanians 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 982,421 seniors by closing the Medicare Part D coverage gap or “doughnut hole.”
  • Preventing insurance companies from denying affordable coverage to up to 214,000 Pennsylvanians 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 11 percent of long-term care dollars in on home and community based-services for older adults and adults with physical disabilities and 89 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 2,100,000 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 $15,600,000,000.  

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

  • Enacting Automatic IRA legislation, which would help many of the estimated 2,856,600 Pennsylvanians who don’t currently have a retirement plan at work to have simple access to a retirement savings account. 

AARP: Fighting for Pennsylvania

AARP members throughout Pennsylvania are actively engaged in advancing our priorities with federal and state elected officials.  More than 94,000 members statewide have contacted either a member of Congress or the General Assembly on issues of importance to the 50+ population in the past year. Regional volunteer teams inform elected officials of AARP positions and conduct public outreach at hundreds of fairs and other local events.  AARP Pennsylvania also works with more than 140 local chapters and a wide range of community partners to extend our advocacy work. The network of grassroots volunteers is kept informed of AARP activities and priorities through a monthly e-news alert, AARP publications, and our state website.

Outreach efforts in 2009 included town hall meetings and Tele-town hall events featuring 13 members of the state’s Congressional delegation.  An additional 15 issue briefings and community conversations statewide on public policy issues means more than 25,000 members participated in advocacy events throughout the year.

In addition to supporting AARP’s national agenda in 2010, state advocacy objectives will include mitigating increases in electric bills caused by the expiration of electricity rate caps, improving state long-term care services by encouraging more care in home and community settings, and fighting to protect programs serving our most vulnerable citizens in the state budget process, particularly those benefitting older Pennsylvanians funded by the state lottery.

Educating voters about the views of candidates running for federal and state office in 2010 will be a key component of our advocacy strategy. AARP will hold forums and distribute voter guides with answers from the candidates on issues important to our members to make sure that older Pennsylvanians make informed voting decisions.

AARP Contact Information

Pennsylvania:  Richard Chevrefils, Sr. State Director, RChevrefils@aarp.org; (717) 237-6486
Washington, DC:  Denise DeMichele, Legislative Representative; DDemichele@aarp.org, (202) 434-3374

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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